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Population dispersion is the general pattern in which individuals are distributed through a specified area. The population dispersion of groups of organism within a population will vary through the range because environmental conditions and suitable niches will differ throughout a populationís geographic range.


There are 3 main dispersion patterns: clumped, uniform, and random

1.                  clumped dispersion

-         most populations exhibit clumped dispersion

-         occurs when organisms are densely grouped in areas of the habitat with favourable conditions for survival

-         e.g., Yellow goatfish are often found clumped in schools




2.                  uniform dispersion

-         individuals are evenly distributed throughout the habitat

-         results from competition between individuals that set up territories for feeding, breeding, or nesting

-         e.g., the King penguins nest on South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic Ocean




3.                  random dispersion

-         individuals are spread throughout a habitat in an unpredictable and patternless manner

-         habitat conditions are virtually uniform

-         e.g., in tropical rain forests, tress of the same species can be randomly dispersed