Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am Nat. 2005 Feb;165(2):E27-35. Epub 2004 Nov 18.

Alternative life-history pathways and the elasticity of stochastic matrix models.

Author information

  • 1Biomathematics Unit, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom.


Loop analysis is a powerful tool for analyzing matrix population models. This note shows that the results of loop analysis, which have been proved for constant matrices only, apply to stochastic matrices as well if elasticity is defined as the effect of a proportional perturbation of both mean and variance. Using the ideas of loop analysis, it is shown that the structure of the stochastic matrix in terms of alternative life-history pathways has important consequences for the effect of stochasticity on elasticities. If the life cycle contains nonoverlapping, alternative life-history pathways, the ranking in terms of elasticity of the most critical vital rates may be reversed in stochastic and the corresponding average environments. This has obvious and important consequences for population management because focusing on a deterministic model would lead to an ineffective or counterproductive management strategy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for University of Chicago Press
    Loading ...
    Support Center