Demographic Parameter Estimation for Experimental Landscape Studies on Small Mammal Populations
J. Nichols, and C. Coffman. Landscape Ecology of Small Mammals, Springer, New York, NY, USA, DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-21622-5\_14.(1999)
Investigations of population-dynamic effects of landscape attributes are directed at inferences about animal abundance and/or density. We are typically interested in variation in animal numbers over time and space and in the degree to which such variation is caused or influenced by characteristics of the landscape. Animal abundance is determined by rates of survival, reproduction, and movement. Variation in abundance over time and space is a function of these rate parameters. Population-dynamic studies of small mammals will usually require estimates of animal abundance and of these demographic rate parameters. Populations of small mammals are amenable to experimental study, permitting much stronger inference about causation than observational studies based on correlation and association (e.g., Hurlbert 1984, Skalski and Robson 1992). The ability to conduct manipulative experiments, however, does not reduce the need for good estimates of the response variables about which inferences are sought.