Seasonality plays a critical role in influencing the persistence of all living organisms. Seasonal shifts in climatic conditions influence the availability of resources, which in turn influences the presence or absence of species throughout the environment at both the temporal and spatial scale. Over time, natural selection has favored individuals that display behaviors, phenotypes, and physiological adaptations that enable them to maximize seasonally patchy resources and cope with extreme environmental conditions. Individuals that persist in seasonal environments are better suited to adapt to shifts in environmental conditions, and thus are able to exploit a vacant niche. When examining factors that effect the distribution and abundance of organisms, it is imperative to consider how seasonality has, and continues to, influence species persistence.
See also: Biological Rhythms; Desert Streams; Ecophysiology; Floodplains; Grazing Models; Temperature Patterns; Temperature Regulation; Tolerance Range; Water Availability; Wind Effects.
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