2002 Progress Report: Spatial Demographic Models for the Study of Stress Effects on Wildlife Populations

EPA Grant Number: R829089
Title: Spatial Demographic Models for the Study of Stress Effects on Wildlife Populations
Investigators: Caswell, Hal , Neubert, Michael
Institution: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
EPA Project Officer: Carleton, James N
Project Period: December 17, 2001 through December 16, 2005 (Extended to June 16, 2006)
Project Period Covered by this Report: December 17, 2001 through December 16, 2002
Project Amount: $500,000
RFA: Wildlife Risk Assessment (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Biology/Life Sciences , Ecosystems


The objective of this research project is to develop new and generalized approaches to assessing risks to wildlife populations, particularly risks characterized by a multiplicity of stressors and by spatial distribution. Our approach weaves together two threads already spun into the fabric of demographic analysis: models for spatially distributed populations and analyses of the effects of stressors. The methods we develop will be capable of assimilating various kinds of demographic and dispersal data. They also will permit the quantification of the uncertainty in the conclusions that are derived from incomplete or uncertain data.

Progress Summary:

Work on the project is progressing successfully. Our goals include the development and analysis of models for two kinds of landscapes (patchy populations and populations distributed across a continous landscape). We have made progress in both of these areas. The following is a list of accomplishments during the first year of the project.

1. We have developed a life table response experiment (LTRE) analysis for the invasion wave speed, and applied the method to data on range expansion of bird species. This method opens up new possibilities for comparative analysis of demographic and dispersal data, and can be applied to the analysis of invasive species or the reintroduction of endangered species.

2. We have developed new methods of sensitivity analysis for periodic and stochastic environments. These are applicable to the conservation and management of populations in seasonally or annually varying environments.

3. We have discovered that spatially structured marine reserves can optimize fishery yield.

4. We have developed analyses for the sensitivity of equilibrium density in nonlinear matrix population models.

Future Activities:

We anticipate no changes in the project schedule. In the next year, we will: (1) begin work focusing on multiregional matrix models for patchy populations and present the results at two international meetings;(2) continue the analyses of integrodifference equation models, including the effects of periodic (e.g., seasonal) and stochastic fluctuations; and (3) explore applications of our models to the analysis of stress effects in marine mammals and endangered seabirds.

Journal Articles on this Report : 4 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 80 publications 23 publications in selected types All 20 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Harding KC, Harkonen T, Caswell H. The 2002 European seal plague:epidemiology and population consequences. Ecology Letters 2002;5(6):727-732. R829089 (2002)
R829089 (2003)
R829089 (2005)
R829089 (Final)
  • Full-text: PDF
  • Abstract: Ingenta Connect
  • Journal Article Lesnoff M, Ezanno P, Caswell H. Sensitivity analysis in periodic matrix models: a postscript to Caswell and Trevisan. Mathematical and Computer Modelling 2003;37(9-10):945-948. R829089 (2002)
    R829089 (2003)
    R829089 (2005)
    R829089 (Final)
  • Abstract: Science Direct
  • Journal Article Marvier M, Kareiva P, Neubert MG. Habitat destruction, fragmentation, and disturbance promote invasion by habitat generalists in a multispecies metapopulation. Risk Analysis 2004;24(4):869-878. R829089 (2002)
    R829089 (2003)
    R829089 (2005)
    R829089 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Wiley InterScience
  • Journal Article Neubert MG, Parker IM. Projecting rates of spread for invasive species. Risk Analysis 2004;24(4):817-831. R829089 (2002)
    R829089 (2003)
    R829089 (2005)
    R829089 (Final)
    not available

    Supplemental Keywords:

    matrix population models, integrodifference equation models, invasion wave speed, life table response experiment, LTRE analysis, sensitivity analysis, elasticity analysis, marine reserves, conservation, ecology, ecological effects, habitat, mathematics, modeling, population, risk assessment., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, exploratory research environmental biology, wildlife, Mathematics, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Statistics, Ecological Risk Assessment, ecological exposure, predicting risk, spatial distribution, risk assessment, demographic, stressors, contaminants, demographic data, stress effects on wildlife populations, wildlife populations, multiple stressors, Wildlife Risk Assessment, spatial demographic model, sensitive population

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • Final Report