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Demographic compensation among populations: what is it, how does it arise and what are its implications?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution. Duke Univ, Dept Biol, Durham, NC 27708 USA..
Univ Colorado, Environm Studies Program, Boulder, CO 80309 USA..
CSIC, Pyrenean Inst Ecol IPE, E-50080 Zaragoza, Spain..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution. Duke Univ, Dept Biol, Durham, NC 27708 USA..
2015 (English)In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 18, no 11, 1139-1152 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most species are exposed to significant environmental gradients across their ranges, but vital rates (survival, growth, reproduction and recruitment) need not respond in the same direction to those gradients. Opposing vital rate trends across environments, a phenomenon that has been loosely called demographic compensation', may allow species to occupy larger geographical ranges and alter their responses to climate change. Yet the term has never been precisely defined, nor has its existence or strength been assessed for multiple species. Here, we provide a rigorous definition, and use it to develop a strong test for demographic compensation. By applying the test to data from 26 published, multi-population demographic studies of plants, we show that demographic compensation commonly occurs. We also investigate the mechanisms by which this phenomenon arises by assessing which demographic processes and life stages are most often involved. In addition, we quantify the effect of demographic compensation on variation in population growth rates across environmental gradients, a potentially important determinant of the size of a species' geographical range. Finally, we discuss the implications of demographic compensation for the responses of single populations and species' ranges to temporal environmental variation and to ongoing environmental trends, e.g. due to climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 18, no 11, 1139-1152 p.
Keyword [en]
demographic compensation, environmental gradient, geographical distribution, global climate change, life-history trade-off, negative correlations, population growth rate, range limit, sensitivity, vital rates
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-266683DOI: 10.1111/ele.12505ISI: 000362915600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-266683DiVA: diva2:871405
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-10 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Morris, William F.

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