Chapter 7

Predicting Population Growth: Modeling with Projection Matrices

Janet Steven* and James Kirkwood, *Department of Biology, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA 24595, USA, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA 24595, USA

7.1 Introduction

Biologists studying an organism in its natural environment often start with a description of a population’s size and demographic structure. How many individuals are in the population? What major life stages does each individual pass through? How many offspring are generated? Once this initial description is complete, biologists frequently move on to examine the causes and consequences of the observed size and structure. Is the population shrinking or growing? Which ...

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