WIS 4501
Introduction to Wildlife Population Ecology


Instructor: Madan K. Oli
324 Newins-Ziegler Hall
Phone: 846-0561
E-mail: olim@wec.ufl.edu

Course Syllabus

Course description:
This course is designed to expose students to concepts and models in population ecology, and their application to conservation and management of wildlife populations. By the end of the semester, students will:

COURSE OUTLINE

PART I. INTRODUCTION

  1. Population ecology: what and why?
  2. Population ecology as science

PART II. POPULATION GROWTH I: UNSTRUCTURED MODELS

  1. Models in population ecology
  2. BIDE model
  3. Exponential population growth models
  4. Density dependence
  5. Logistic population growth models

PART III. POPULATION GROWTH II: STRUCTURED MODELS

  1. Life tables: construction and analysis
    • Age structure: why it matters
    • Methods of compiling life tables/fecundity tables
    • Life table analysis (generation times, net reproductive rates, (population growth rates etc.)
  2. Age- and stage-structured matrix population models
    • Age-structured (Leslie) matrix models
    • Matrix algebra review
    • Population projection, population growth rate, stable age distribution and reproductive values
    • Sensitivity/elasticity analysis
    • Life-cycle graphs and stage-structured models
    • Analysis of stage-structured models
    • Model modification and limitations

PART IV. METAPOPULATION DYNAMICS

  1. Spatial structure of populations; why spatial scale matters
  2. Metapopulations and extinction risk
  3. Models of metapopulation dynamics
    • Classic metapopulation (Levinís) model
    • Spatially realistic metapopulation theory
    • Overview of incidence function model (IFM) and stochastic patch occupancy model (SPOM)

PART V. POPULATION VIABILITY ANALYSIS (PVA)

  1. Introduction to PVA: what, why and how?
  2. Components of PVA
  3. Viability of PVA: evaluating PVA results
  4. Overview of PVA models

PART VI. POPULATION REGULATION

  1. Density-dependence revisited
  2. Hypotheses of population regulation
  3. Population regulation vs. population limitation

PART VII. POPULATION CYCLES

  1. What are population cycles?
  2. Hypotheses of population cycles
  3. Empirical evidence

PART VIII. SPECIES INTERACTIONS

  1. Competition
    • Nature of competition
    • Lotka-Volterra competition model
  2. Predation
    • Nature of predation
    • Lotka-Volterra predation model
  3. Dynamics of infectious diseases
    • SIR model

PART IX. LIFE-HISTORY

  1. Life-history traits
  2. r-K selection and bet-hedging
  3. Life history trade-offs
  4. Evolution of life-history traits
  5. Coleís dilemma: semelparity or iteroparity?

PART X. WILDLIFE HARVEST

  1. Maximum sustained yield
  2. Introduction to harvest models

Required text

None