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Population viability analysis under environmental change

development of Bayesian tools

Ruete, Alejandro (2012). Population viability analysis under environmental change. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2012:22
ISBN 978-91-576-7658-0
[Doctoral thesis]

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An understanding of the links between population dynamics and environmental variability, combined with information on how these factors change over time, is necessary to understand and predict population dynamics and viability in changing environments. Scientists need also to acknowledge uncertainties in their understanding of systems, which is straightforward using Bayesian statistics. This allows us to know with more certainty, although it sounds contradictory, how a biological system works.

First, the hierarchical model developed in paper I illustrates how conclusions and decisions to be made based on population viability analysis could be dangerously misleading if uncertainties are not taken into account. The probabilistic long-term growth rate parameter, log λS, is estimated for the first time, and I discuss a new way to interpret this parameter. Based on simulations done with this model, we stress in paper II that ignoring relevant uncertainty sources generally gives an unwarranted impression of confidence in the results. The procedure used in this work increased our understanding of the relative importance of different uncertainty sources, and helps choosing which sources to include when evaluating the impact of climate change.

Second, the modelling approach developed in paper III allows us to estimate colonization rates of non-equilibrium metapopulations. It reconstructs a time series of the most likely colonization events leading to the observed pattern of occupied and non-occupied patches. It requires only snapshot data on the occurrence pattern, as well as data on patch ages and on the landscape history. In this case I stress how the choice of a modelling approach has important implications on metapopulation viability analysis.

I finally draw conclusions on the methodological advances achieved, and on the implications for the conservation of the study species. Using Bayesian statistics both process uncertainty, and parameter uncertainty and variability are captured, and predictions are turned into a probabilistic statement that is useful for management. Uncertainties are no longer an obstacle, but a mandatory aspect to include in population viability analysis.

Authors/Creators:Ruete, Alejandro
Title:Population viability analysis under environmental change
Subtitle:development of Bayesian tools
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2012
Number of Pages:62
I.Ruete A., Wiklund K., and T. Snäll (2012). Hierarchical Bayesian estimation of the population viability of an epixylic moss. Journal of Ecology 100(2), 497-507.
II.Ruete A., Yang W., Bärring L., Stenseth N.C., and T. Snäll (2012). Disentangling effects of uncertainties on population projections: climate change impact on an epixylic bryophyte. Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences Series B (in press).
III.Ruete A., Fritz Ö., and T. Snäll. Estimation of colonization rates of non-equilibrium metapopulations based on patch ages and landscape history. (manuscript).
IV.Ruete A., and T. Snäll. Effects of forest protection and management scenarios on epiphyte metapopulation viability. (manuscript).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7658-0
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:F Plant production > F40 Plant ecology
P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
U Auxiliary disciplines > U10 Mathematical and statistical methods
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Agrovoc terms:plant population, climatic change, bryophyta, epiphytes, lichenes, colonizing ability, viability, statistical methods, data analysis, models
Keywords:climate change, epiphyte, epixylic, fragmentation, habitat loss, hierarchical model, lichen, metapopulation dynamics, moss, population dynamics, PVA, uncertainty
Permanent URL:
ID Code:8887
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
External funders:FORMAS
Deposited By: Dr Alejandro Ruete
Deposited On:22 May 2012 07:08
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:50

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