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Habitat Ecology and Analysis$
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Joseph A. Veech

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829287

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829287.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 June 2021

The Primacy of Habitat

The Primacy of Habitat

(p.39) Chapter 3 The Primacy of Habitat
Habitat Ecology and Analysis

Joseph A. Veech

Oxford University Press

Habitat may have a primary role in determining the distribution and abundance of species, yet ecologists have historically overlooked its importance. Models of habitat selection are briefly reviewed. A new conceptual and analytical model is presented that explains how dispersing organisms find and settle at a given location based upon habitat structural features providing cues for settlement. The model is based on a sequential process of dispersal, settlement, and establishment that can be described by probabilities. The spatial settlement pattern of juvenile individuals determines adult distribution and abundance. Evidence is provided that structural features of the habitat may be more effective cues than are food supply, conspecific density, or the absence of an antagonistic species. This is the habitat-cue hypothesis of species distribution and abundance. The hypothesis is intended to stimulate greater investigation into the role of physical structure and environmental cueing in habitat selection by all types of organism. The hypothesis also predicts that a species distribution in nature is determined by habitat more than any other factor.

Keywords:   Dispersal, environmental cue, habitat preference, habitat selection, species distribution

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