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Population Ecology

Author(s): Evan Siemann, PhD

Basic Characteristics of Populations

Geographic Ranges - The geographic range of a species depends on the suitability of the habitat, interactions with other species, and opportunities to colonize. The presence of a species shows that the habitat is suitable. However, the absence of a species from a habitat does not necessarily mean that the habitat is unsuitable for that species.

Spatial Distributions - Random distributions of individuals are those similar to Poisson distribution (probability distribution of discrete random variables), in which the locations of individuals are determined  independently of each other. The clumping of populations may reflect locally suitable environmental conditions, clustering of offspring near parents, or social interactions. Uniformly spaced distributions may indicate strong competition within individual species.