All Subjects



AP Enviro



Unit 3

3.5 Population Growth and Resource Availability

1 min readapril 29, 2020

Karla Jauregui Sandoval

Population Growth refers to the rate a population can grow however it is limited by the availability of resources in a habitat, space and competition between species. Species with more offspring outcompete the species with the slower population growth rate. 

Exponential Growth 

An exponential growth is when populations grow at their intrinsic rate of increase (r) and are limited by resource increase by a fixed rate each year.  This type of exponential growth is described using a J Curve because of the shape of the accelerated growth rate. An example of a species with an exponential growth is bacteria. The population size of bacteria grows exponentially because there are no limiting factors on their growth.


Diagram Courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 

Logistic Growth

A logistic population growth model shows a population exponentially growing until environmental resistance such as limited factors make it reach its carrying capacity. The population growth makes an S shaped curve.


Diagram Courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 

🎥 Watch this video here to view more about this key topic and its relation to other topics in this unit.


Was this guide helpful?

Join us on Discord

Thousands of students are studying with us for the AP Environmental Science exam.

join now

Browse Study Guides By Unit

Free Response Questions (FRQs)

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

Unit 1: The Living World: Ecosystems

Unit 2: The Living World: Biodiversity

Unit 4: Earth Systems and Resources

Unit 5: Land and Water Use

Unit 6: Energy Resources and Consumption

Unit 7: Atmospheric Pollution

Unit 8: Aquatic and Terrestrial Pollution

Unit 9: Global Change

Play this on HyperTyper

Practice your typing skills while reading Population Growth and Resource Availability

Start Game