- Mechanistic description of population dynamics using dynamic energy budget theory incorporated into integral projection models
- Methods in Ecology and Evolution
- Volume | Issue number
- 8 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
1. Integral projection models (IPMs) provide a powerful approach to investigate ecological and rapid evolutionary change in quantitative life-history characteristics and population dynamics. IPMs are constructed from functions that describe the demographic rates – survival, growth and reproduction – in relation to the characteristics of individuals and their environment. Currently, however, demographic rates are estimated using phenomenological regression models that lack a mechanistic representation of the biological processes that give rise to observed demographic variation. This lack of mechanistic underpinning limits the ability of the model to predict future dynamics under novel environmental conditions because the model ingredients pertain to current environmental conditions only.
2. Here, we use dynamic energy budget (DEB) theory to construct DEB-IPMs based on a mechanistic representation of individual life-history trajectories. We derive the demographic functions describing growth and reproduction from a simple DEB growth model. The functions describing mortality and the association between parent and offspring characteristics do not follow DEB theory and hence are estimated from individual-level observations.
3. We apply the DEB-IPM to two contrasting systems: the small, fast-reproducing bulb mite Rhizoglyphus robini and the large, slow-reproducing reef manta ray Manta alfredi. In both cases, predictions of population growth rate, lifetime reproductive success and generation time agree with empirical observations. In case of the bulb mite, predictions and observations even agree across different feeding conditions.
4. If the DEB energetics model is accepted as describing growth and reproduction, DEB-IPMs can be parameterised using easy-to-collect life cycle information (growth rate, length at birth, maturation and old age) making them suitable for data-deficient species. Because species differ only in these DEB parameters, comparative studies of character and population dynamics between species are straightforward, particularly since DEB-IPMs can be extended to include population feedback on resources, of which we give an example. Most crucially, because DEB theory specifies growth and reproduction rates as explicitly dependent on environmental conditions such as food availability or temperature, DEB-IPMs provide a mechanistic platform to investigate the biological processes that determine joint change in phenotypic characters, life-history traits, population size and community structure.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.