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Trends Ecol Evol. 1988 Oct;3(10):264-9. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(88)90060-2.

Projection matrices in population biology.

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  • 1Department of Vegetation Science, Plant Ecology and Weed Science, Agricultural University, Bornsesteeg 69, 6708 PD Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Projection matrix models are widely used in population biology to project the present state of a population into the future, either as an attempt to forecast population dynamics, or as a way to evaluate life history hypotheses. These models are flexible and mathematically relatively easy. They have been applied to a broad range of plants and animals. The asymptotic properties of projection matrices have clearly defined biological interpretations, and the analysis of the effects of perturbations on these asymptotic properties offers new possibilities for comparative life history analysis. The connection between projection matrix models and the secondary theorem of natural selection opens life cycle phenomena to evolutionary interpretation.

Copyright © 1988. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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