|Projections from population and community models of rocky shores|
Johnson, M.P. (2005). Projections from population and community models of rocky shores, in: Wilson, J.G. (Ed.) The intertidal ecosystem: the value of Ireland’s shores. pp. 134-146
In: Wilson, J.G. (Ed.) (2005). The intertidal ecosystem: the value of Ireland’s shores. Royal Irish Academy: Dublin. ISBN 1-904890-09-1. 206 pp., more
Environmental concerns motivated by issues such as climate change, harvesting or the loss of biodiversity often focus on the rates of change or ecological stability. These issues of population and community dynamics can be analysed in a number of ways. A modelling approach complements time series and experimental studies and can be applied to a wider range of contexts. Complex models can be difficult to parameterise, hence a simpler approach often provides more useful insights about population and community dynamics. One such approach is to use transition (Markov) matrix models specified from repeated observations. Projections from transition matrix models are used to describe rates of change, composition and stability. Examples from rocky shores demonstrate the importance of recruitment variability in population dynamics and may predict community responses to loss of biodiversity. A particular advantage of the transition matrix approach is that the models are relatively easy to formulate from field surveys.