Indices of abundance and reproduction rate are considered in some groups of aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates from the zones of technogenic disasters. Upon a critical population decline caused by external destructive factors, such as emissions of acute ecotoxicants, the ecophysiological and behavioral compensatory mechanisms are activated, which provide for restoration of the total population size to the optimum within a short period of time. Environmental pollution with substances disturbing the reproductive function has the gravest consequences for animals. In this case, population size may remain fairly high, and, therefore, the effect of enhanced reproduction as a response to population decline does not take place, which eventually leads to a gradual but irreversible destruction of the population. Pathologies of reproduction should be used as a criterion for assessing the state of animals in the zones of technogenic disasters.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 19, 2005
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