A non-manipulative method for deriving empirical expressions of population growth parameters from simple field data is presented. The derived expressions can be used to assess the intensity and form of density dependence and interspecies interactions, and have potential for parameterizing more mechanistic models of population dynamics and for use in applied ecology, e.g. land management or environmental risk assessment. The method is based on an assertion of invariant expected fitness across occupied microhabitats. Hence, its success depends upon the degree to which that assertion holds. The assertion, as used here, is broadly applicable. Thus, the method can be expected to yield reliable results even in nonequilibrium communities. Here, we apply the method to data on six desert plant species. Expressions generated from data in one stand, in one year, successfully predict plant cover values in other stands and years. The predicted patterns of plant species interactions are discussed in the light of current knowledge and theorics of desert succession.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Interaction assessment: Rationale and a test using plants|
|Series title||Evolutionary Ecology|
|Publisher||Kluwer Academic Publishers|
|Contributing office(s)||Western Fisheries Research Center|