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J Anim Ecol. 2010 Jan;79(1):1-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2009.01619.x.

Environmental variance, population growth and evolution.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Environmental fluctuations on time scales of one to tens of generations are increasingly recognized as important determinants of population dynamics and microevolution. Jonzén et al. in this issue analyse how the vital rates of red kangaroos depend on annual rainfall, and estimate the elasticities of stochastic growth rate to the means and variances of the vital rates, as well as to the mean and variance of rainfall. Their results demonstrate how ecological and evolutionary studies can benefit from including explicit environmental drivers when modelling populations, and from the use of mean and variance elasticities.

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