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The diversity of population responses to environmental change


Colchero, Fernando; Jones, Owen R; Conde, Dalia A; Hodgson, David; et al; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Dummermuth, Stefan; Flatt, Thomas (2019). The diversity of population responses to environmental change. Ecology Letters, 22:342-353.

Abstract

The current extinction and climate change crises pressure us to predict population dynamics with ever‐greater accuracy. Although predictions rest on the well‐advanced theory of age‐structured populations, two key issues remain poorly explored. Specifically, how the age‐dependency in demographic rates and the year‐to‐year interactions between survival and fecundity affect stochastic population growth rates. We use inference, simulations and mathematical derivations to explore how environmental perturbations determine population growth rates for populations with different age‐specific demographic rates and when ages are reduced to stages. We find that stage‐ vs. age‐based models can produce markedly divergent stochastic population growth rates. The differences are most pronounced when there are survival‐fecundity‐trade‐offs, which reduce the variance in the population growth rate. Finally, the expected value and variance of the stochastic growth rates of populations with different age‐specific demographic rates can diverge to the extent that, while some populations may thrive, others will inevitably go extinct.

Abstract

The current extinction and climate change crises pressure us to predict population dynamics with ever‐greater accuracy. Although predictions rest on the well‐advanced theory of age‐structured populations, two key issues remain poorly explored. Specifically, how the age‐dependency in demographic rates and the year‐to‐year interactions between survival and fecundity affect stochastic population growth rates. We use inference, simulations and mathematical derivations to explore how environmental perturbations determine population growth rates for populations with different age‐specific demographic rates and when ages are reduced to stages. We find that stage‐ vs. age‐based models can produce markedly divergent stochastic population growth rates. The differences are most pronounced when there are survival‐fecundity‐trade‐offs, which reduce the variance in the population growth rate. Finally, the expected value and variance of the stochastic growth rates of populations with different age‐specific demographic rates can diverge to the extent that, while some populations may thrive, others will inevitably go extinct.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:ecology, evolution, environmental change
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:05 Feb 2019 16:08
Last Modified:05 Feb 2019 16:24
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1461-023X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13195
Official URL:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ele.13195
Project Information:
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID249872
  • : Project TitleLEED - Linking ecological and evolutionary dynamics in theory, in the lab and in the field

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