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Trends Ecol Evol. 2004 Jul;19(7):351-3.

Stochastic population theory faces reality in the laboratory.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway.


Understanding the factors that affect most severely the extinction risk of populations is crucial for maintaining biodiversity. An important general pattern derived from stochastic population theory is that time to extinction should decrease with increasing environmental stochasticity. Drake and Lodge recently provided one of the first pieces of experimental support for this simple prediction by artificially manipulating the dynamics of populations of Daphnia. A future challenge will be to include both demographic stochasticity and environmental stochasticity in such studies.


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