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Biogeography Ch. 4

Vocabulary words from chapter four of "Biogeography" by Lomolino et al. (5th Ed)

TermDefinition
geographic range the area over which the populations of a species are distributed.
scale-dependent Abstraction that occurs to a species range in which it appears gappy or clumpy depending on the distance depicted.
range maps maps depicting the geographic distribution of particular species (includes dot, contour and outline maps).
outline maps a map depicting the geographic limits (range boundary) of a particular population or species.
dot map maps depicting the geographic range of a species by place dots at points of documented occurrence of its individuals and populations.
contour map maps that use isoclines ("contours" of similar levels of a variable) to illustrate changes in characteristics (e.g., population densities of a species or diversity of ecological communities) across a geographic area.
isocline contours or lines on a map that indicate sites of similar levels of a particular variable.
exponential growth in ecology, a population that increases in proportion to its population size and, therefore, at a continually accelerating rate.
ecological niche the total requirements of a population or species for resources and physical conditions.
realized niche the actual environmental conditions in which a species survives and reproduces in nature; a subset of the fundamental niche.
fundamental niche the total range of environmental conditions in which a species can (theoretically) survive and reproduce.
fundamental/potential geographic range the theoretical distribution that populations of a particular species may achieve based solely on their physiological and abiotic tolerances, assuming that species interactions are unimportant and opportunities of dispersal are unlimited.
realized geographic range the actual distribution of populations of a species, which is restricted to only a subset of the (theoretical) fundamental geographic range as a result of interactions with other species and limited opportunities for dispersal.
source habitats environments in which the birth rate of a particular species exceeds its death rate, resulting in a surplus of individuals which contributes to dispersal to other ("sink") habitats.
sink habitats environments where the birth rate of a particular species is exceeded by its death rate and, therefore, the presence of this species indicates that most individuals are derived from dispersal from other ("source") habitats.
metapopulation a set or constellation of local populations of a particular species that are linked by dispersal among those populations.
subpopulation geographically separated demographic units that are connected with others by dispersal, together comprising a metapopulation.
law of the minimum the idea that biological processes can be considered to be limited by a single factor--in its original invocation, the single plant nutrient in shortest supply relative to demand.
treeline the upper elevational limits of patches of trees.
timberline the upper elevational limit of trees on mountains.
xerophytes land plants that grow in relatively dry (xeric) environments.
mesophytes Land plants that grow in environments with an average ("mesic") supply of water.
desertification The degradation of land in arid, semi arid and dry sub-humid areas into desert.
competition any interaction that is mutually detrimental to both participants. Interspeific competition occurs among species that share requirements for limited resources.
exploitative competition a negative interaction between species or conspecifics in which individuals use up resources and make them unavailable to others.
interference competition a negative interaction between species in which aggressive dominance or active inhibition is used to deny other individuals access to resources.
allelopathy a type of interspecific interaction in which one species inhibits the growth of another by releasing chemicals in the soil.
amensalism a pairwise, interspecific interaction in which one species is adversely affected while the other is not directly affected (allelopathy is one example).
predation the act of feeding on other organisms; an interspecific interaction that has negative effects on the species that is consumed or used.
mutualism an interspecific relationship in which both species receive positive benefits from their interaction.
commensalism an interspecific relationship in which one species draws benefits from the association and the other is unaffected.
diffuse competition a type of competition in which one species is negatively affected by numerous other species that collectively cause a significant depletion of shared resources.
keystone species a species whose activities have a disproportionate effect on the structure and function of ecological communities.
predator-mediated coexistence coexistence of two intense competitors which results from the actions of a predator that preys most heavily on the more abundant or otherwise dominant competitor, therefore preventing either competitor from increasing to where it can exclude the other.
harsh/benign range limits hypothesis the proposition that harsh range boundaries are typically set by abiotic factors, whereas environmentally benign range boundaries reflect biotic controls.
Created by: emcoogan