• Open Access

Demographic analysis of continuous-time life-history models


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*E-mail: a.m.deroos@uva.nl


I present a computational approach to calculate the population growth rate, its sensitivity to life-history parameters and associated statistics like the stable population distribution and the reproductive value for exponentially growing populations, in which individual life history is described as a continuous development through time. The method is generally applicable to analyse population growth and performance for a wide range of individual life-history models, including cases in which the population consists of different types of individuals or in which the environment is fluctuating periodically. It complements comparable methods developed for discrete-time dynamics modelled with matrix or integral projection models. The basic idea behind the method is to use Lotka's integral equation for the population growth rate and compute the integral occurring in that equation by integrating an ordinary differential equation, analogous to recently derived methods to compute steady-states of physiologically structured population models. I illustrate application of the method using a number of published life-history models.