By the same authors

From the same journal

The spatial structure of populations

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Author(s)

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
DatePublished - Jul 1999
Issue number4
Volume68
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)647-657
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

1. Studies of the spatio-temporal dynamics and structure of populations have identified many categories of population type. However, recognized categories intergrade, making it difficult to assign empirical population systems to single categories.

2. We suggest that most population categories can be arranged along two axes that combine per capita birth (B), death (D), emigration (E) and immigration (I) rates. The 'Compensation Axis' describes the source-sink component of population structure, with source populations exporting individuals (B > D, E > I) and sinks and pseudosinks consuming individuals (B < D, E < I). The 'Mobility Axis' describes the involvement of a local population in regional (I + E) rather than local (B + D) processes, running from separate populations, through metapopulations, to patchy populations.

3. Each sample area within a spatially structured population system can potentially be assigned to a position along each of these axes, with individual sample areas weighted by local population size. The positions of these sample areas and their relative weightings allow the relative importance of different types of process to be judged. A worked exampled is provided, using the butterfly Hesperia comma. This approach shifts the emphasis from pattern (categories that real population systems do not fit) onto process.

4. In many systems, continuous variation in habitat quality and demographic parameters make clear distinctions between 'habitat' and 'non-habitat' difficult to sustain. In such cases, we advocate the use of a spatial grid system, with effects of patch size and isolation combined into a single, weighted distance function (neighbourhood).

5. The relative importance of different processes depends on the spatial scale at which the system is observed. This again emphasizes the value of a process-based approach.

    Research areas

  • foraging, dispersal, metapopulations, population dynamics, sources, sinks, BUTTERFLY HESPERIA-COMMA, METAPOPULATION STRUCTURE, FRAGMENTED LANDSCAPE, DYNAMICS, CONSERVATION, EXTINCTION, ECOLOGY, CONSEQUENCES, PERSISTENCE, MODEL

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations