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Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: exponential

An exponential curve is a graph whose slope increases constantly. A good example of an exponential curve is the size of a theoretical population of rabbits living in a place with no limits on food, no predators, no disease, and ample space. Each rabbit has several offspring, each of its offspring has several offspring, and so on. The size of the rabbit population grows exponentially.


In nature there are no truly exponential curves because there are real limits on the growth of everything. But exponential portions of growth curves are found often in nature, usually when the normal limits on growth are reduced for some reason.

Exponential curves are often used to simulate potential or unrestrained growth as an upper bound. Actual growth is determined by reducing potential growth for environmental limitations such as food shortages. In this simulation exponential curves are used to simulate many things, from precipitation (the modified exponential curve) to growth. Most exponential curves in the simulation are limited by making them S curves, in which the exponential portion of the curve is balanced by a plateau later on.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.