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life of an albatross: tackling individuality in studies of populations

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life of an albatross: tackling individuality in studies of populations

when ecologists study populations of animals, they commonly round off the individuality of individuals, treating animals of the same species, sex, and age like identical units. this has practical utility for studies focused on how populations change in size and composition and how they respond to their environment.rémi fay, a student at université de la rochelle, in villiers-en-bois, france, is interested in the peculiarities that make some animals more successful than others. unrecognized differences in performance between individuals can sometimes have demographic effects that skew the interpretation of data at the scale of whole populations, if the differences are not due to chance but to an underlying variability in "individual qualit...