Scale-dependent portfolio effects explain growth inflation and volatility reduction in landscape demography
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Population demography is central to fundamental ecology and for predicting range shifts, decline of threatened species, and spread of invasive organisms. There is a mismatch between most demographic work, carried out on few populations and at local scales, and the need to predict dynamics at landscape and regional scales. Inspired by concepts from landscape ecology and Markowitz’s portfolio theory, we develop a landscape portfolio platform to quantify and predict the behavior of multiple populations, scaling up the expectation and variance of the dynamics of an ensemble of populations. We illustrate this framework using a 35-y time series on gypsy moth populations. We demonstrate the demography accumulation curve in which the collective growth of the ensemble depends on the number of local populations included, highlighting a minimum but adequate number of populations for both regional-scale persistence and cross-scale inference. The attainable set of landscape portfolios further suggests tools for regional population management for both threatened and invasive species.
- RESEARCH: Hui C