Lab 6 - Lab 6: Metapopulations 1. Whooping cranes have been...

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Lab 6: Metapopulations 1. Whooping cranes have been saved from extinction by a series of captive breeding  programs. In an effort to re-establish wild populations, conservation biologists  have been introducing captive birds to their native habitat. Imagine that you have  been charged with choosing several habitats into which subpopulations of  whooping cranes will be reintroduced. These habitats can be more closely  clustered (shorter distance between each) or dispersed (longer distance between  each). What are the benefits of clustering the habitats? What are the risks? How  would you decide how far away these habitats should be? The main benefit for clustering is that by decreasing the distance between patches, it  makes it easier for the whooping cranes to emigrate to a patch that has experienced a  significant loss in crane population, therefore helping the recolonization rate. However  clustering the patches also hinders the benefits of dispersal namely the rescue effect.  Clustering of habitats increases correlation of environmental variation; the patches would  most likely experience very similar conditions which may increase the extinction risk. If  you cluster the habits there is increased correlation. The best way to figure out what the  best distance between the patches would be to take into consideration the maximum 
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Lab 6 - Lab 6: Metapopulations 1. Whooping cranes have been...

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