Journal of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 325–337

Why use population entropy? It determines the rate of convergence

  • Shripad D. Tuljapurkar

DOI: 10.1007/BF00276067

Cite this article as:
Tuljapurkar, S.D. J. Math. Biology (1982) 13: 325. doi:10.1007/BF00276067


The population entropy introduced by Demetrius is shown to have a precise dynamical meaning as a measure of convergence rate to the stable age distribution. First the Leslie population model is transformed exactly into a Markov chain on a state space of age-classes. Next the dynamics of convergence from a nonequilibrium state to the stable state are analyzed. The results provide the first clear biological reason why entropy is a broadly useful population statistic.

Key words

Population entropy Leslie model Markov chain Convergence Stable age distribution Ergodic theory 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shripad D. Tuljapurkar
    • 1
  1. 1.Physics and Environmental SciencePortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations