ecological trap theory

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A proposed situation in which organisms may be induced to settle in a low-quality habitat. It is assumed that organisms will ordinarily prefer to settle in a high-quality habitat, providing abundant resources, and that they receive cues by which they identify such habitats. If it should happen that changes in either the quality of the habitat or the cues decouple the two, so that the cues are no longer a reliable indication of habitat quality, organisms may be misled, or trapped, into settling in an apparently attractive but in fact low-quality habitat.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation.

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