In Chapter 3, we considered models of immigration and movement within a given ecosystem. In that and other chapters, the focus has been on precise estimation of population density. This is an extremely important aspect of applied ecology. Consequently, many population models have been developed to give rise to a probability distribution that will fit the distribution of counts obtained in the sampling process. For example, the negative binomial consistently fits insect data. Unfortunately, there are at least 16 models giving rise to the negative binomial, many of which could be given a biological interpretation (Boswell and Patii, 1970). Therefore, the fact that a particular probability distribution fits does not necessarily provide insight into the underlying biological forces.
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