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in biology, any gradual change in a particular characteristic of a population of organisms from one end of the geographical range of the population to the other. Gradients of characteristics usually accompany, and are responses to, environmental gradients; for example, a mountain range features gradients from top to bottom such as a temperature gradient (colder to warmer) and a humidity gradient (wetter to drier). They may also reflect patterns of individual migration or gene flow. In species of birds and mammals, there is usually a cline in body size, with smaller individuals in warm climates and larger individuals tending to be found in colder climates.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in biology, a gradual increase or decrease (quantitative gradient) of some character or property in populations in connection with marked change in physical geographic factors. A cline usually develops when a large area is more or less uniformly populated by a particular species and the populations and their groups are not separated by rigid isolating barriers. A cline provides an advantage in natural selection because it allows adjustment to any direction of change in the corresponding physical geographic factors.

A cline may also develop as a result of the rapid dispersal of a species.


Timofeev-Resovskii, N. V., N. N. Vorontsov, and A. V. Iablokov. Kratkii ocherk teorii evoliutsii. Moscow, 1969. Pages 163, 164, 171, 176.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A graded series of morphological or physiological characters exhibited by a natural group (as a species) of related organisms, generally along a line of environmental or geographic transition.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Patsy, original name Virginia Patterson Hensley. 1932--63, US country singer; her bestselling records include "Walking After Midnight", "I Fall to Pieces", and "Leavin' On Your Mind".
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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"Chris Cline built an empire and on every occasion was always there to give," Justice wrote.
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The origin of the brand dates back to 1998 when the Clines, who are members of the Rhone Rangers group, created and donated a halfbarrel for the Hospice du Rhone auction.
Cline's prose is dense but gifted with super speed.
Spielberg is happy that he has brought Cline's vision for the future, as narrated in the author's book Ready Player One, to the big screen with his sci-fi action adventure film of the same name.
In the introduction, Cline makes a compelling case for a thorough study of Feldman's graphs.
Appellant Samuel Biers appeals the district courts entry of judgment as a matter of law in favor of Appellee Tracey Cline during a jury trial on Bierss First Amendment retaliation claim.