Population Responses to Patchy Environments

Population Responses to Patchy Environments In the real world, environments are patchy. Factors influencing the proximate physiological or behavioral state or the ultimate fitness of individuals exhibit discon­ tinuities on many scales in time and space. The patterns of these discontinuities produce an environmental patchwork which exerts powerful influences on the distri­ butions of organisms, their interactions, and their adaptations. Consideration of this environmental patch structure is critical to both the theory and management of populations. Despite the obvious heterogeneity of natural sys­ te.ms, most of the models that form the theoretical fabric of population biology and ecology (and that are increasingly conditioning our perception of reality) tell mathe­ matical stories of populations existing at single points in space or time (142, 261). While some attempts have been made to relax this assumption of environmental constancy at the level of single populations (e.g. 146, 1 87, 245, 284), population interactions (e.g. 1 64, 177), or ecosystems (e.g. 72, 73, 295, 3 1 0), the task of translat­ ing patchiness into a form compatible with computer simulation of system dynamics is indeed formidable (261 ). In population management disciplines, the importance of environmental patch structure was realized more than a generation ago in such http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics Annual Reviews

Population Responses to Patchy Environments

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1976 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0066-4162
DOI
10.1146/annurev.es.07.110176.000501
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the real world, environments are patchy. Factors influencing the proximate physiological or behavioral state or the ultimate fitness of individuals exhibit discon­ tinuities on many scales in time and space. The patterns of these discontinuities produce an environmental patchwork which exerts powerful influences on the distri­ butions of organisms, their interactions, and their adaptations. Consideration of this environmental patch structure is critical to both the theory and management of populations. Despite the obvious heterogeneity of natural sys­ te.ms, most of the models that form the theoretical fabric of population biology and ecology (and that are increasingly conditioning our perception of reality) tell mathe­ matical stories of populations existing at single points in space or time (142, 261). While some attempts have been made to relax this assumption of environmental constancy at the level of single populations (e.g. 146, 1 87, 245, 284), population interactions (e.g. 1 64, 177), or ecosystems (e.g. 72, 73, 295, 3 1 0), the task of translat­ ing patchiness into a form compatible with computer simulation of system dynamics is indeed formidable (261 ). In population management disciplines, the importance of environmental patch structure was realized more than a generation ago in such

Journal

Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and SystematicsAnnual Reviews

Published: Nov 1, 1976

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