When stable-stage equilibrium is unlikely: integrating transient population dynamics improves asymptotic methods

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Title: When stable-stage equilibrium is unlikely: integrating transient population dynamics improves asymptotic methods
Authors: Tremblay, Raymond L. | Raventós, José | Ackerman, James D.
Research Group/s: Gestión de Ecosistemas y de la Biodiversidad (GEB)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ecología | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Multidisciplinar para el Estudio del Medio "Ramón Margalef"
Keywords: Transient population dynamics | Stable-stage equilibrium | Lambda | Reactivity | First-time step attenuation | Maximum amplification | Maximum attenuation | Maximum inertia | Transfer function | Population projection matrices | PPM | Orchids | Lepanthes rubripetala | Orchidaceae | Puerto Rico
Knowledge Area: Ecología
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Annals of Botany. 2015, 116(3): 381-390. doi:10.1093/aob/mcv031
Abstract: Background and Aims Evaluation of population projection matrices (PPMs) that are focused on asymptotically based properties of populations is a commonly used approach to evaluate projected dynamics of managed populations. Recently, a set of tools for evaluating the properties of transient dynamics has been expanded to evaluate PPMs and to consider the dynamics of populations prior to attaining the stable-stage distribution, a state that may never be achieved in disturbed or otherwise ephemeral habitats or persistently small populations. This study re-evaluates data for a tropical orchid and examines the value of including such analyses in an integrative approach. Methods Six small populations of Lepanthes rubripetala were used as a model system and the R software package popdemo was used to produce estimates of the indices for the asymptotic growth rate (lambda), sensitivities, reactivity, first-time step attenuation, maximum amplification, maximum attenuation, maximal inertia and maximal attenuation. The response in lambda to perturbations of demographic parameters using transfer functions and multiple perturbations on growth, stasis and fecundity were also determined. The results were compared with previously published asymptotic indices. Key Results It was found that combining asymptotic and transient dynamics expands the understanding of possible population changes. Comparison of the predicted density from reactivity and first-time step attenuation with the observed change in population size in two orchid populations showed that the observed density was within the predicted range. However, transfer function analysis suggests that the traditional approach of measuring perturbation of growth rates and persistence (inertia) may be misleading and is likely to result in erroneous management decisions. Conclusions Based on the results, an integrative approach is recommended using traditional PPMs (asymptotic processes) with an evaluation of the diversity of dynamics that may arise when populations are not at a stable-stage distribution (transient processes). This method is preferable for designing rapid and efficient interventions after disturbances, and for developing strategies to establish new populations.
Sponsor: Partial funding for this work was provided by the Center for Applied Tropical Ecology and Conservation and a grant from the US National Science Foundation to the University of Puerto Rico (E. Cuevas, project director; HRD 0206200).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/53328
ISSN: 0305-7364 (Print) | 1095-8290 (Online)
DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcv031
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcv031
Appears in Collections:INV - GEB - Artículos de Revistas

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