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Daniel F. Doak

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Demographic transition matrices are one of the most commonly applied population models for both basic and applied ecological research. The relatively simple framework of these models and simple, easily interpretable summary statistics they produce have prompted the wide use of these models across an exceptionally broad range of taxa. Here, we provide annual transition matrices and observed stage structures/population sizes for 20 perennial plant species which have been the focal species for long-term demographic monitoring. These data were assembled as part of the 'Testing Matrix Models' working group through the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). In sum, these data represent 82 populations...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Archives
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Reliable information on historical and current population dynamics is central to understanding patterns of growth and decline in animal populations. We developed a maximum likelihood-based analysis to estimate spatial and temporal trends in age/sex-specific survival rates for the threatened southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), using annual population censuses and the age structure of salvaged carcass collections. We evaluated a wide range of possible spatial and temporal effects and used model averaging to incorporate model uncertainty into the resulting estimates of key vital rates and their variances. We compared these results to current demographic parameters estimated in a telemetry-based study conducted...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Ecological surprises, substantial and unanticipated changes in the abundance of one or more species that result from previously unsuspected processes, are a common outcome of both experiments and observations in community and population ecology. Here, we give examples of such surprises along with the results of a survey of well-established field ecologists, most of whom have encountered one or more surprises over the course of their careers. Truly surprising results are common enough to require their consideration in any reasonable effort to characterize nature and manage natural resources. We classify surprises as dynamic-, pattern-, or intervention-based, and we speculate on the common processes that cause ecological...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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1) Better information on historical and current population dynamics is central to understanding patterns of growth and decline in the California sea otter population. We developed a maximum likelihood-based analytical method to estimate historical age/sex specific vital rates as well as spatial and temporal variation in vital rates from longitudinal databases on population census numbers and the age-structure of salvaged carcasses.2) We estimated current demographic parameters by conducting a mark-recapture study, measuring survival and reproduction of 115 radio-tagged individuals between 2001 and 2004. These current estimates were compared to estimates from a similar study of radiotagged otters conducted in the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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How best to predict the effects of perturbations to ecological communities has been a long-standing goal for both applied and basic ecology. This quest has recently been revived by new empirical data, new analysis methods, and increased computing speed, with the promise that ecologically important insights may be obtainable from a limited knowledge of community interactions. We use empirically based and simulated networks of varying size and connectance to assess two limitations to predicting perturbation responses in multispecies communities: (1) the inaccuracy by which species interaction strengths are empirically quantified and (2) the indeterminacy of species responses due to indirect effects associated with...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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