Resistance and Buffer Capacity

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Encyclopedia of Ecology, Five-Volume Set, 2008, pp. 3004 - 3009
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© 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Populations differ considerably in their ability to resist environmental changes, such as physical disturbances (storms, etc.) and biological pressures (e.g., pulses of predators, invasive species). Individual responses such as shelter-seeking behavior, cyst formation, and burrowing may protect them from mortality or enhance reproduction. These responses, coupled with population-level processes such as density-dependent demography and propagule connectivity, help to determine how well a population is buffered from a changing environment. Here, we review the ways in which populations are more or less resistant to the environment, how this affects their persistence, and what are the implications for the management of renewable resources.
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