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Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 305–316 | Cite as

Populations with Explicit Borders in Space and Time: Concept, Terminology, and Estimation of Characteristic Parameters

  • Manfred A. PfeiferEmail author
  • Klaus Henle
  • Josef Settele
Regular Article

Abstract

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

Temporally bounded population Population concepts Total population size Total residence time Discrete generation Population viability analysis Population ecology Maculinea nausithous 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank two unknown reviewers for their constructive comments on the manuscript. This study was partly funded by the German Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF) within the MOSAIK-Project (BMBF 01 LN 0007) and by the Commission of the European Union within the project MacMan (EVK2–CT-2001-00126).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred A. Pfeifer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Klaus Henle
    • 2
  • Josef Settele
    • 3
  1. 1.Bobenheim-RoxheimGermany
  2. 2.Department of Conservation BiologyUFZ-Helmholtz Center for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Department of Community EcologyUFZ-Helmholtz Center for Environmental ResearchHalleGermany

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