Discrete Stochastic Models

  • Robert F. Costantino
  • Robert A. Desharnais
Part of the Monographs on Theoretical and Applied Genetics book series (GENETICS, volume 13)

Abstract

In the deterministic and stochastic models of the previous chapters, population size was treated as a continuous variable. But animals come in discrete units. For large populations, a continuous variable may be a reasonable approximation; a model which predicts a population size of 11,924.38 is not much different from one that predicts a population of 11,924. But in small populations the difference may be important; a prediction of 5 animals is more reasonable than a prediction of 5.42. This is especially true when one considers the question of extinction, where the dynamics of small populations are of fundamental interest. A more realistic model should consider population size as a discrete variable restricted to the nonnegative integers.

Keywords

Summing 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert F. Costantino
    • 1
  • Robert A. Desharnais
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyCalifornia State UniversityLos AngelesUSA

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