I want to use the word demography but that is human specific (demography: the scientific study of human populations, esp with reference to their size, structure, and distribution). Is there an alternative which is not human specific, particularly it's for a biological question about the distribution of trees.

  • Tree demography is used - Perhaps combined with biomass? – mplungjan Aug 27 '13 at 7:39
  • It's more I'm looking for a word that is "the study of populations and population dynamics, distribution, and structure" whilst being non specific about species. – rg255 Aug 27 '13 at 7:54
  • There seems to be the word populography, but it is quite strange. sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/199916/000019991699A0657623.php – skymningen Aug 27 '13 at 8:19
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    It does look strange, is it a real word? – rg255 Aug 27 '13 at 8:36
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    @mplungjan: Yes, tree demography is used, and though it is fairly uncommon, it is fine as it would be clearly understood in the circles regularly using such jargon / subject-specific terminology. This illustrates the phenomenon known as extension (a word widening its meaning), one of the avenues of semantic change. There is no more established alternative, and this new usage should not lead to any confusion. Animal demography and plant demography are similar extensions, according to Google data. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 27 '13 at 8:49

What you describe sounds to be a specific example of population ecology.

The term "population" is interpreted differently in various sciences:
In human demography a population is a set of humans in a given area.
In genetics a population is a group of interbreeding individuals of the same species, which is isolated from other groups.
In population ecology a population is a group of individuals of the same species inhabiting the same area

(from http://home.comcast.net/~sharov/PopEcol/lec1/whatis.html)


If you are looking for an accurate corresponding synonym it will have to be a neologism - DENDRODEMOGRAPHY; and I see nothing wrong with that term.

Otherwise plant demography as suggested is perfectly acceptable.

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