Compensation and additivity of anthropogenic mortality: life-history effects and review of methods
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- Demographic compensation, the increase in average individual performance following a perturbation that reduces population size, and, its opposite, demographic overadditivity (or superadditivity) are central processes in both population ecology and wildlife management. A continuum of population responses to changes in cause-specific mortality exists, of which additivity and complete compensation constitute particular points. The position of a population on that continuum influences its ability to sustain exploitation and predation.
- Here I describe a method for quantifying where a population is on the continuum. Based on variance–covariance formulae, I describe a simple metric for the rate of compensation–additivity.
- I synthesize the results from 10 wildlife capture–recapture monitoring programmes from the literature and online databases, reviewing current statistical methods and the treatment of common sources of bias.
- These results are used to test hypotheses regarding the effects of life-history strategy, population density, average cause-specific mortality and age class on the rate of compensation–additivity. This comparative analysis highlights that long-lived species compensate less than short-lived species and that populations below their carrying capacity compensate less than those above.