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Last Update:
February 11, 2008

Chapter 8 - Studying animals and their distributions.

New books and papers | Websites

Chapter Outline :

    • Variations in distribution can be seen as an interrelated set of long-, medium- and short-range factors;
    • Short-range factors involve species and individuals and include ethology, adaptation, competition and food supply;
    • Medium-range factors involve ecosystems and include environmental gradients, biotic dispersal and climate change;
    • Long-range factors have a global focus and include time, geographical, geological and biological barriers;
    • In mapping animals there are a number of problems to be faced including the mobility of the species and the theoretical paradigms used in the methods;
    • An increasingly wide range of methods is used to sample animals for distribution study. These range from simple traps to satellite mapping;
    • Studying individual cases in distribution helps highlight both progress and problems in the subject and is a vital part of the education in this field.


New books and papers
Author(s) Title (and link) Comment
Morellet et al 2007 Indicators of ecological change: new tools for managing populations of large herbivores Describes new methods of providing cost-effective information of population sizes.
IUCN 2007 The status and distribution of European mammals Current data on species distributions.
Lester et al 2007 The relationship between dispersal ability and geographic range size Studies the strength of the relationship between the range of a species and its mode of dispersal. Shows that the mode is not the only determining factor.
Daffonchio et al 2006 Stratified prokaryote network in the oxic–anoxic transition of a deep-sea halocline Contrary to expectations, deep sea areas near halocline transitions can have very high evels of biological activity even enough to contribute to sediment deposition.
Cowan et al 2006 Scaling of Connectivity in Marine Populations Larval dispersion is a crucial factor in marine dynamics and seems to correspond with clines in morphology.
Worm et al 2005 Global Patterns of Predator Diversity in the Open Oceans New research seems to show that there are biodiversity hotspots in the oceans but that the indicators are declining showing that fishing may have a major impact on the system.
McCarthy and Parris 2004 Clarifying the effect of toe clipping on frogs with Bayesian statistics. Toe clipping reduces accuracy and is unethical.
May 2004 Ethics and amphibians. Nature 431.7007. p43 Some marking techniques can compromise data accuracy.
 Ancrenaz et al 2004  Aerial surveys give new estimates for Orangutans in Sabah, Malaysia  Outlines a new way of finding accurate population numbers in difficult areas.

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