is the manner in which a biological taxon
is spatially arranged. Species distribution is not to be confused with dispersal
, which is the movement of individuals away from their area of origin
or from centers of high population density. A similar concept is the species range
. A species range is often represented with a species range map. Biogeographers
try to understand the factors determining a species' distribution. The pattern of distribution is not permanent for each species. Distribution patterns can change seasonally, in response to the availability of resources, and also depending on the scale at which they are viewed. Dispersion usually takes place at the time of reproduction. Populations within a species are translocated through many methods, including dispersal by people, wind, water and animals. Humans are one of the largest distributors due to the current trends in globalization and the expanse of the transportation industry. For example, large tankers often fill their ballasts with water at one port and empty them in another, causing a wider distribution of aquatic species.