Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
James W. Keefe
The S-curve is a graphic of a frequency distribution that visualizes growth and change. The growth of most organisms follows an S-curve. Growth processes do not simply reach a limit and then stop. Instead, they often follow one of two configurations with respect to limits. The first is a pattern of exponential (even superexponential) growth up to a turning point and then a pattern of slowing growth. The pattern exhibits a slow-slow-quickquick-slow progression: an S-curve. When a young tree is very small, it tends to grow only a few inches each year, but as time passes, it accelerates in both height and girth, until it reaches its natural limit, declines, and dies. The second growth pattern also resembles an S-curve, ...