Sensitivity analysis of periodic matrix population models. Academic Article uri icon


  • Periodic matrix models are frequently used to describe cyclic temporal variation (seasonal or interannual) and to account for the operation of multiple processes (e.g., demography and dispersal) within a single projection interval. In either case, the models take the form of periodic matrix products. The perturbation analysis of periodic models must trace the effects of parameter changes, at each phase of the cycle, on output variables that are calculated over the entire cycle. Here, we apply matrix calculus to obtain the sensitivity and elasticity of scalar-, vector-, or matrix-valued output variables. We apply the method to linear models for periodic environments (including seasonal harvest models), to vec-permutation models in which individuals are classified by multiple criteria, and to nonlinear models including both immediate and delayed density dependence. The results can be used to evaluate management strategies and to study selection gradients in periodic environments.

publication date

  • December 2012