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Cover Conservation: A people-centred approach

Populations, Patchiness, and Movement  

This chapter describes how population sizes change. Understanding the dynamics of populations involves studying the key demographic processes of birth, death, immigration, and emigration. Much of twentieth-century population ecology concentrated on explaining population dynamics of closed populations, using the effects of density on births and deaths, while ignoring movement. The equilibrium theory of island biogeography changed this focus onto the study of movement as a key determinant of species richness. This focus was then transferred into the idea of the metapopulation, a set of extinction-prone populations on patches kept going by the movement of individuals. Natural landscapes consist of many patches of suitable habitat in a sea of unsuitable habitat. Movement across such landscapes is an important element in the population dynamics of many organisms.