Populations with explicit borders in space and time: Concept, terminology, and estimation of characteristic parameters

Acta Biotheoretica 55 (4):305-316 (2007)
Biologists studying short-lived organisms have become aware of the need to recognize an explicit temporal extend of a population over a considerable time. In this article we outline the concept and the realm of populations with explicit spatial and temporary boundaries. We call such populations “temporally bounded populations”. In the concept, time is of the same importance as space in terms of a dimension to which a population is restricted. Two parameters not available for populations that are only spatially defined characterise temporally bounded populations: total population size, which is the total number of individuals present within the temporal borders, and total residence time, which is the sum of the residence times of all individuals. We briefly review methods to estimate these parameters. We illustrate the concept for the large blue butterfly (Maculinea nausithous) and outline insights into ecological and conservation-relevant processes that cannot be gained without the use of the concept.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10441-007-9022-9
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