Sensitivity analysis of transient population dynamics. Academic Article uri icon


  • Short-term, transient population dynamics can differ in important ways from long-term asymptotic dynamics. Just as perturbation analysis (sensitivity and elasticity) of the asymptotic growth rate reveals the effects of the vital rates on long-term growth, the perturbation analysis of transient dynamics can reveal the determinants of short-term patterns. In this article, I present a completely new approach to transient sensitivity and elasticity analysis, using methods from matrix calculus. Unlike previous methods, this approach applies not only to linear time-invariant models but also to time-varying, subsidized, stochastic, nonlinear and spatial models. It is computationally simple, and does not require calculation of eigenvalues or eigenvectors. The method is presented along with applications to plant and animal populations.

publication date

  • January 2007