Chapter

Structured-Population Models in Marine, Terrestrial, and Freshwater Systems

Volume 18 of the series Population and Community Biology Series pp 3-17

Structured-Population Models: Many Methods, a Few Basic Concepts

  • Hal Caswell
  • , Roger M. Nisbet
  • , André M. de Roos
  • , Shripad Tuljapurkar

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Abstract

This is a book about structured-population models. If there is a starting point for thinking about populations, it must be the individual. Individual organisms are born, grow, develop, mature, move, reproduce, and eventually die. The rates at which these processes occur determine whether the population increases or decreases, persists or becomes extinct, expands or contracts, fluctuates or remains stable. The environment affects the population through its effects on these individual processes. To model the dynamics of a population, and their response to the environment, requires a link between individual rates (collectively called the “vital rates” ) and population processes. That link is provided by structured-population models, the subject of this book.