Animal population dynamics: Identification of critical components

Ecological Modelling
By:  and 



There is a growing interest in the use of population dynamics models in environmental risk assessment and the promulgation of environmental regulatory policies. Unfortunately, because of species and areal differences in the physical and biotic influences on population dynamics, such models must almost inevitably be both complex and species- or site-specific. Given the emormous variety of species and sites of potential concern, this fact presents a problem; it simply is not possible to construct models for all species and circumstances. Therefore, it is useful, before building predictive population models, to discover what input parameters are of critical importance to the desired output. This information should enable the construction of simpler and more generalizable models. As a first step, it is useful to consider population models as composed to two, partly separable classes, one comprising the purely mechanical descriptors of dynamics from given demographic parameter values, and the other describing the modulation of the demographic parameters by environmental factors (changes in physical environment, species interactions, pathogens, xenobiotic chemicals). This division permits sensitivity analyses to be run on the first of these classes, providing guidance for subsequent model simplification. We here apply such a sensitivity analysis to network models of mammalian and avian population dynamics.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Animal population dynamics: Identification of critical components
Series title Ecological Modelling
DOI 10.1016/0304-3800(89)90033-1
Volume 44
Issue 3-4
Year Published 1989
Language English
Publisher Elselvier
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 21 p.
First page 253
Last page 273
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