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Population Ecology - Population Ecology Reading Freeman...

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Population Ecology Reading: Freeman, Chapter 52
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Every species has a geographic range A geographic range describes where individuals of a species might potentially be located. In the United states, most species have a range of 4-24 states. Cosmopolitan species are an extreme, they are worldwide in distribution. Endemic species are found in only a small, restricted area, they represent the other side of the spectrum.
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This is the geographic range of a species of damselfly. campus.greenmtn.edu/dept/NS/Dragonfly/Vermont
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Factors Determining the Geographic Range of a Species History Biological Tolerances Other Species A combination of the above
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Historical Factors Determining Range: Example Many species have what is called a “Gondwanan” distribution. They occur in the Southern continents of Australia, South Africa, South America, and sometimes India. These places are far away from each other now, but 150 million years ago, they were all linked together in a massive continent. Examples number in the thousands, across many different types of species, including the rattite birds, the bee family colettidae, and the southern beech tree, Nothofagus sp .
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The geographic ranges of various ratite birds
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No species are truly ubiquitous, in the sense that all species are restricted to a particular habitat. Suitable habitats tend to be clustered within the geographic range of a population , therefore, most species are composed of discontinuous groups called populations. Clearly, the boundaries between populations can be somewhat subjective. What constitutes a population depends upon the species in question, but in general, members of a population interact, mate, and compete with each other much more frequently than members of different populations.
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Populations are groups of individuals of the same species living in the same place Individuals within a population occupy the same general area, rely on the same resources, and are influenced by the same general environmental conditions. Most of the interaction, including sexual reproduction, between individuals of a species is among members of the same population.
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Example A grassland in North Dakota may support a single population of Buffalo , many separate populations of prairie dogs , and hundreds of populations of frogs . Each population of frogs would be localized in a patch of wetland called a prairie sinkhole. Likewise, each prairie dog town would support its own population of fleas . There might be several streams bisecting the grassland, each would support an independent population of fish , such as the bullhead catfish, and several islolated populations of water loving (hydric) plants.
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Some populations move A single population of salmon may spawn upstream in a river of the Pacific Northwest, and return to the ocean to feed and grow.
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