Skip to main content
Select Source:

S-shaped growth curve

S-shaped growth curve (sigmoid growth curve) A pattern of growth in which, in a new environment, the population density of an organism increases slowly initially, in a positive acceleration phase; then increases rapidly approaching an exponential growth rate as in the J-shaped curve; but then declines in a negative acceleration phase until at zero growth rate the population stabilizes. This slowing of the rate of growth reflects increasing environmental resistance which becomes proportionately more important at higher population densities. This type of population growth is termed ‘densitydependent’ since growth rate depends on the numbers present in the population. The point of stabilization, or zero growth rate, is termed the ‘saturation value’ (symbolized by K) or ‘carrying capacity’ of the environment for that organism. K represents the point at which the upward curve begins to level, produced when changing population numbers are plotted over time. It is usually summarized mathematically by the logistic equation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"S-shaped growth curve." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"S-shaped growth curve." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/s-shaped-growth-curve-1

"S-shaped growth curve." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved August 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/s-shaped-growth-curve-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

S-shaped growth curve

S-shaped growth curve (sigmoid growth curve) A pattern of growth in which, in a new environment, the population density of an organism increases slowly initially, in a positive acceleration phase; then increases rapidly, approaching an exponential growth rate as in the J-shaped curve; but then declines in a negative acceleration phase until at zero growth rate the population stabilizes. This decline reflects increasing environmental resistance which becomes proportionately more important at higher population densities. This type of population growth is termed density-dependent, since growth rate depends on the numbers present in the population. The point of stabilization, or zero growth rate, is termed the saturation value (symbolized by K) or carrying capacity of the environment for that organism. K represents the upper asymptote of the sigmoidal or S-shaped curve produced when changing population numbers are plotted over time. It is usually summarized mathematically by the logistic equation. See DENSITY-DEPENDENCE. Compare J-SHAPED GROWTH CURVE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"S-shaped growth curve." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"S-shaped growth curve." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/s-shaped-growth-curve-0

"S-shaped growth curve." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved August 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/s-shaped-growth-curve-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

S-shaped growth curve

S-shaped growth curve(sigmoid growth curve) A pattern of growth in which, in a new environment, the population density of an organism increases slowly initially, in a positive acceleration phase; then increases rapidly, approaching an exponential growth rate as in the J-shaped curve; but then declines in a negative acceleration phase until at zero growth rate the population stabilizes. This decline reflects increasing environmental resistance which becomes proportionately more important at higher population densities. This type of population growth is termed density-dependent, since growth rate depends on the numbers present in the population. The point of stabilization, or zero growth rate, is termed the saturation value (symbolized by K) or carrying capacity of the environment for that organism. K represents the upper asymptote of the sigmoidal or S-shaped curve produced when changing population numbers are plotted over time. It is usually summarized mathematically by the logistic equation. See density-dependence; compare J-shaped growth curve.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"S-shaped growth curve." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"S-shaped growth curve." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/s-shaped-growth-curve

"S-shaped growth curve." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved August 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/s-shaped-growth-curve

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.