• Jean-Dominique Lebreton

    1. Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive
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      UMR 5175, Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France. e-mail: lebreton@cefe.cnrs.fr

  • Acknowledgments. The author thanks J.D. Nichols and E. Rexstad for very helpful comments and for bringing to his attention several key references.

  • This paper was presented at the 4th Conference on Statistics in Ecology and Environmental Monitoring, ‘Population dynamics: the interface between models and data’, 9–12 December 2002, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Human activities have indirectly modified the dynamics of many populations, accelerating considerably the natural rate of species extinction and raising strong concerns about biodiversity. In many such cases, the underlying ‘natural’ dynamics of the population has been modified by human-induced increases in mortality, even if the populations are not exploited or harvested in the strict sense. Both dynamical and statistical models are needed to investigate the consequences of human-induced mortality on the overall dynamics of a population. This paper reviews existing approaches and the potential of recent developments to help form a conceptual and practical framework for analysing the dynamics of exploited populations. It examines both the simple case of an extra source of mortality instantaneously in time, and the theory involved when both risks compete over a continuous time scale. This basic theory is expanded to structured populations, using matrix population models, with applications to the conservation biology of long-lived vertebrates. The type and degree of compensation expected and approaches to detect it are reviewed, and ways of handling uncertainty are discussed.