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Is behavioral ecology important for understanding and predicting population dynamics?

Gonzalez-Suarez, M. A. ORCID: (2014) Is behavioral ecology important for understanding and predicting population dynamics? Ecosistemas, 23 (3). pp. 93-97. ISSN 1697-2473

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To link to this item DOI: 10.7818/ECOS.2014.23-3.12


Population ecology is a discipline that studies changes in the number and composition (age, sex) of the individuals that form a population. Many of the mechanisms that generate these changes are associated with individual behavior, for example how individuals defend their territories, find mates or disperse. Therefore, it is important to model population dynamics considering the potential influence of behavior on the modeled dynamics. This study illustrates the diversity of behaviors that influence population dynamics describing several methods that allow integrating behavior into population models and range from simpler models that only consider the number of individuals to complex individual-based models that capture great levels of detail. A series of examples shows the importance of explicitly considering behavior in population modeling to avoid reaching erroneous conclusions. This integration is particularly relevant for conservation, as incorrect predictions regarding the dynamics of populations of conservation interest can lead to inadequate assessment and management. Improved predictions can favor effective protection of species and better use of the limited financial and human conservation resources.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:51701
Uncontrolled Keywords:conservation; ethology; population model; Population Viability Analysis (PVA)


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