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Population Distribution and Abundance (Chapter 9) Introduction. Ecologists usually define a population as a group of individuals of a single species inhabiting a specific area. Characterized by the number of individuals and their density.

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population distribution and abundance chapter 9 introduction
Population Distribution and Abundance (Chapter 9) Introduction
  • Ecologists usually define a population as a group of individuals of a single species inhabiting a specific area.
    • Characterized by the number of individuals and their density.
      • Additional characteristics of a population include age distributions, growth rates, distribution, and local abundance.
distribution limits
Distribution Limits
  • Physical environment limits geographic distribution of a species.

http://plants.usda.gov/index.html

slide3

Two needle pinyon

Giant Sequoia

slide4

Distribution of three Peromyscus species

Temperature and Water Balance

(Blackwell and Pivorun, 1979)

distributions of plants along a moisture temperature gradient
Distributions of Plants along a Moisture-Temperature Gradient
  • Encelia species distributions correspond to variations in temperature and precipitation.
distribution of individuals on small scales
Distribution of Individuals on Small Scales
  • Random: Equal chance of being anywhere.
  • Regular: Uniformly spaced.
  • Clumped: Unequal chance of being anywhere.
distribution of tropical bee colonies
Distribution of Tropical Bee Colonies
  • Hubbell and Johnson: aggressive behavior
distributions of desert shrubs
Distributions of Desert Shrubs
  • Traditional theory suggests desert shrubs are regularly spaced due to competition.
    • Phillips and MacMahon found distribution of desert shrubs changes from clumped to random to regular patterns as they grow.
    • Young shrubs clumped for (3) reasons:
      • Seeds germinate at safe sites
      • Seeds not dispersed from parent areas
      • Asexual reproduction
distributions of desert shrubs14
Distributions of Desert Shrubs
  • Phillips and MacMahon proposed as plants grow, some individuals in clumps die, reducing clumping.
    • Competition among remaining plants produces higher mortality.
      • Root zone competition
      • Eventually creates regular distributions.
animal size and population density
Animal Size and Population Density

Relationship holds up within trophic levels (e.g., herbivores)

plant size and population density
Plant Size and Population Density
  • Plant population density decreases with increasing plant size.
    • Underlying details are very different.
      • Tree seedlings can live at very high densities, but as the trees grow, density declines progressively until mature trees are at low densities.
commonness and rarity
Commonness and Rarity
  • Rabinowitz devised commonness classification based on (3) factors:
      • Geographic Range of Species
      • Habitat Tolerance
      • Local Population Size
  • Populations that are least threatened by extinction, have extensive geographic ranges, broad habitat tolerances, and some large local populations.
    • All seven other combinations create some kind of rarity.
rarity
Rarity
  • Rarity I
    • Extensive Range, Broad Habitat Tolerance, Small Local Populations
      • Peregrine Falcon
  • Rarity II
    • Extensive Rage, Large Populations, Narrow Habitat Tolerance
      • Passenger Pigeon
rarity22
Rarity
  • Rarity III
    • Restricted Range, Narrow Habitat Tolerance, Small Populations
      • California Condor