Seminar: Linking demographic theory and data to forecast the dynamics of spatially-structured seasonally-mobile populations

  • Speaker: Dra Ana Payo-Payo, Univeristy of Aberdeen







Esporles, October 21, 2019.

Identifying life-history stages and locations controlling populations’ persistence and growth rates remains a key challenge for pure and applied ecologists.



Seasonal movement is potentially a major cause of demographic structure that could shape population dynamics and persistence.



Despite strong intuition that variation in seasonal movement could substantially affect the overall dynamics of populations inhabiting seasonally- and spatially-structured environments, we still lack: general models identifying fundamental principles of such systems and study systems with high-resolution data capturing seasonal dynamics.



Therefore, we first build a theoretical full-annual-cycle matrix model that captures key dimensions of metapopulation structure in a seasonally varying environment.



We conceptualise movement through two variable vital rates: seasonal movement probability and the associated seasonal movement survival probability, and derive metapopulation growth rates and associated elasticities for stereotypical short-lived and longer-lived species.



Further, we consider three levels of seasonal movement plasticity, allowing within-individual variation among seasons, years or lifetimes.



We show that seasonal movement vital rates can affect population persistence and growth rate to degrees comparable to key vital rates typically understood to drive population dynamics, and that such effects can be non-linear.



We thereby show how population dynamics theory can be extended to explicitly encompass variable seasonal mobility that is commonplace in nature. 



Second, we evaluate the impacts of extreme climatic events (ECEs) in key life-history traits of a seasonally mobile metapopulation of European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) with a unique seasonal monitoring program.



We were able to quantify selection on key vital rates of migrants versus residents through extreme and benign conditions and explored potential eco-evolutionary implications of selection in the face of climate change.




Date and Time: Thursday, October 24, 12:00-13:00h

Place: IMEDEA Seminar Room