Deme (biology)

In biology, a deme, in the strict sense, is a group of individuals that belong to the same taxonomic group. However, when biologists, and especially zoologists, use the term ‘deme’ they usually refer to it as the definition of a gamodeme: a local group of individuals that interbreed with each other and share a gene pool. The latter definition of a deme is only applicable to sexual reproducing species, while the former is more neutral and also takes asexual reproducing species into account, such as certain plant species. In the following sections the latter definition of a deme will be used.


In biology, a deme, in the strict sense, is a group of individuals that belong to the same taxonomic group. However, when biologists, and especially zoologists, use the term ‘deme’ they usually refer to it as the definition of a gamodeme: a local group of individuals that interbreed with each other and share a gene pool. The latter definition of a deme is only applicable to sexual reproducing species, while the former is more neutral and also takes asexual reproducing species into account, such as certain plant species. In the following sections the latter definition of a deme will be used.
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