What is the size of a modular population

In modular organisms, the number of surviving zygotes can give only a partial and misleading impression of the 'size' of the population. Kays and Harper (1974) coined the word 'genet' to describe the 'genetic individual': the product of a zygote. In modular organisms, then, the distribution and abundance of genets (individuals) is important, but it is often more useful to study the distribution and abundance of modules (ramets, shoots, tillers, zooids, polyps or whatever): the amount of grass in a field available to cattle is not determined by the number of genets but by the number of leaves (modules).

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