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JournalISSN: 0003-0147

The American Naturalist 

About: The American Naturalist is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Population & Biological dispersal. It has an ISSN identifier of 0003-0147. Over the lifetime, 12321 publication(s) have been published receiving 935679 citation(s). The journal is also known as: American Naturalist & The American Naturaliste.


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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: If enough data are available, genetic distance between any pair of organisms can be measured in terms of D, and this measure is applicable to any kind of organism without regard to ploidy or mating scheme.
Abstract: A measure of genetic distance (D) based on the identity of genes between populations is formulated. It is defined as D = -logeI, where I is the normalized identity of genes between two populations. This genetic distance measures the accumulated allele differences per locus. If the rate of gene substitution per year is constant, it is linearly related to the divergence time between populations under sexual isolation. It is also linearly related to geographical distance or area in some migration models. Since D is a measure of the accumulated number of codon differences per locus, it can also be estimated from data on amino acid sequences in proteins even for a distantly related species. Thus, if enough data are available, genetic distance between any pair of organisms can be measured in terms of D. This measure is applicable to any kind of organism without regard to ploidy or mating scheme.

8,481 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A method of correcting for the phylogeny has been proposed, which specifies a set of contrasts among species, contrasts that are statistically independent and can be used in regression or correlation studies.
Abstract: Recent years have seen a growth in numerical studies using the comparative method. The method usually involves a comparison of two phenotypes across a range of species or higher taxa, or a comparison of one phenotype with an environmental variable. Objectives of such studies vary, and include assessing whether one variable is correlated with another and assessing whether the regression of one variable on another differs significantly from some expected value. Notable recent studies using statistical methods of this type include Pilbeam and Gould's (1974) regressions of tooth area on several size measurements in mammals; Sherman's (1979) test of the relation between insect chromosome numbers and social behavior; Damuth's (1981) investigation of population density and body size in mammals; Martin's (1981) regression of brain weight in mammals on body weight; Givnish's (1982) examination of traits associated with dioecy across the families of angiosperms; and Armstrong's (1983) regressions of brain weight on body weight and basal metabolism rate in mammals. My intention is to point out a serious statistical problem with this approach, a problem that affects all of these studies. It arises from the fact that species are part of a hierarchically structured phylogeny, and thus cannot be regarded for statistical purposes as if drawn independently from the same distribution. This problem has been noticed before, and previous suggestions of ways of coping with it are briefly discussed. The nonindependence can be circumvented in principle if adequate information on the phylogeny is available. The information needed to do so and the limitations on its use will be discussed. The problem will be discussed and illustrated with reference to continuous variables, but the same statistical issues arise when one or both of the variables are discrete, in which case the statistical methods involve contingency tables rather than regressions and correlations.

8,291 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: If the surplus population of the source is large and the per capita deficit in the sink is small, only a small fraction of the total population will occur in areas where local reproduction is sufficient to compensate for local mortality, and the realized niche may be larger than the fundamental niche.
Abstract: Animal and plant populations often occupy a variety of local areas and may experience different local birth and death rates in different areas. When this occurs, reproductive surpluses from productive source habitats may maintain populations in sink habitats, where local reproductive success fails to keep pace with local mortality. For animals with active habitat selection, an equilibrium with both source and sink habitats occupied can be both ecologically and evolutionarily stable. If the surplus population of the source is large and the per capita deficit in the sink is small, only a small fraction of the total population will occur in areas where local reproduction is sufficient to compensate for local mortality. In this sense, the realized niche may be larger than the fundamental niche. Consequently, the particular species assemblage occupying any local study site may consist of a mixture of source and sink populations and may be as much or more influenced by the type and proximity of other habitats a...

4,841 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is suggested that local animal species diversity is related to the number of predators in the system and their efficiency in preventing single species from monopolizing some important, limiting, requisite in the marine rocky intertidal.
Abstract: It is suggested that local animal species diversity is related to the number of predators in the system and their efficiency in preventing single species from monopolizing some important, limiting, requisite. In the marine rocky intertidal this requisite usually is space. Where predators capable of preventing monopolies are missing, or are experimentally removed, the systems become less diverse. On a local scale, no relationship between latitude (10⚬ to 49⚬ N.) and diversity was found. On a geographic scale, an increased stability of annual production may lead to an increased capacity for systems to support higher-level carnivores. Hence tropical, or other, ecosystems are more diverse, and are characterized by disproportionately more carnivores.

4,638 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A triangular model based upon the three strategies of evolution in plants may be reconciled with the theory of r- and K-selection, provides an insight into the processes of vegetation succession and dominance, and appears to be capable of extension to fungi and to animals.
Abstract: It is suggested that evolution in plants may be associated with the emergence of three primary strategies, each of which may be identified by reference to a number of characteristics including morphological features, resource allocation, phenology, and response to stress. The competitive strategy prevails in productive, relatively undisturbed vegetation, the stress-tolerant strategy is associated with continuously unproductive conditions, and the ruderal strategy is characteristic of severely disturbed but potentially productive habitats. A triangular model based upon the three strategies may be reconciled with the theory of r- and K-selection, provides an insight into the processes of vegetation succession and dominance, and appears to be capable of extension to fungi and to animals.

4,515 citations

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Performance
Metrics
No. of papers from the Journal in previous years
YearPapers
2021142
2020159
2019160
2018133
2017176
2016161