The key factors that influence the population growth rate can be identified with sensitivity analysis. Caswell presented an algorithm based on vector calculus that speeds up, and improves the practicality of the application of the sensitivity analysis, by calculating the derivatives of the explicit elements from the population Leslie matrix. Despite the usefulness of the sensitivity analysis, it is still barely applied to empirical data, partially due to requirements of high quality demographic data and failure of compatibility between time intervals of field data collection and organism’s life stage timing. This can result in the absence of a certain vital rate as a separated element in the population projection matrix, and thus intricacy in obtaining its sensitivity. In this note we call the attention for the applied value of sensitivity analysis, and also we point to a simple formula that is easily implemented in Caswell Matlab algorithm, to calculate the sensitivity of a vital rate that is not explicit as a matrix element.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 23, 2013
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