Modeling Population Dynamics

It is a common goal in studies on plant population dynamics to integrate all ecological factors affecting demographic parameters to comprehensively understand their effects on the dynamics of populations. The life-cycle graph summarizes all data on survivorship, growth, and

Figure 10 A large fire occurred in central Catalonia (NE Spain). Fires represent the main disturbance in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. Photograph courtesy of Josep Maria Espelta.

and variance decomposition analyses) can be applied to structured models allowing the determination of the relative importance of each demographic trait for the dynamics of the population. Structured models can also integrate the stochastic variability that several environments experience or nonlinear functions that affect demographic traits (e.g., density-dependent effects). Modeling is also used to explore the metapopulation dynamics of plants, that is, the extinction and colonization dynamics of local populations on a regional scale.

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