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Contact: Catherine Crawley
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)

Yucca Colorado Desert

Caption: Individuals of the same species sometimes occupy radically different environments. For example some populations of the Mojave Yucca (Yucca shidigera) live in quite dry portions of the Colorado Desert, such as the one shown in this photo in Joshua Tree National Park in California, while other populations are native to sites along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, a region with a relatively moderate climate. A new study indicates that in some circumstances this observation can mislead ecologists into concluding that distinct populations have different environmental requirements.

Credit: William Godsoe/NIMBioS

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Related news release: Species distribution models can exaggerate differences in environmental requirements

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