Range Limits

Abstract

The range of a species is the area over which individuals of that species can be found. To understand range we need to consider the behaviour of individuals (individual movement and the dispersal of propagules) and the biotic (resources, enemies, and competitors) and abiotic variables that influence the potential and actual range of species.

Keywords: species range; home range; dispersal; competition; range expansion

Figure 1.

Various hypothetical depictions of individuals (dots) in a population and the connections of these individuals into a range (solid line): (a) individuals in a ring; (b) range determined as a convex hull; (c) the effect of the movement of one individual on the estimate of the range size using the convex hull algorithm; (d) graph connecting individuals using edges.

Figure 2.

The range expansion of the muskrat in Europe (after Skellam, ).

Figure 3.

The approximate ranges of 11 woody species found in western New York State, USA (‘X’). Courtesy of Katie Fitzgerald.

Figure 4.

A statistically normal, two‐dimensional distribution of 1000 points.

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References

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Further Reading

Brown JH and Lomolino MV (1998) Biogeography 2nd edn. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Okubo A (1980) Diffusion and Ecological Problems: Mathematical Models. Berlin: Springer‐Verlag.

Shigesada N and Kawasaki K (1997) Biological Invasions: Theory and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Turchin P (1998) Quantitative Analysis of Movement: Measuring and Modeling Population Redistribution in Plants and Animals. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

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How to Cite close
Hartvigsen, Gregg(May 2005) Range Limits. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003238]