Assessing critical population thresholds under periodic disturbances

Azmy S. Ackleh, Amy Veprauskas, John E. Banks, John D. Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Population responses to repeated environmental or anthropogenic disturbances
depend on complicated interactions between the disturbance regime, population
structure, and differential stage susceptibility. Using a matrix modeling approach,
we develop a methodological framework to explore how the interplay of these factors
impacts critical population thresholds. To illustrate the wide applicability of
this approach, we present two case studies pertaining to agroecosystems and conservation
science. We apply sensitivity analysis to the two case studies to examine
how population and disturbance properties affect these thresholds. Contrasting
outcomes between these two applications, including differences in how factors
such as disturbance intensity and pre-disturbance population distributions impact
population responses, highlight the importance of accounting for demographic
features when performing ecological risk assessments.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • agroecosystem models
  • conservation science
  • critical population thresholds
  • integrated pest management
  • matrix population models
  • periodic disturbances
  • sustainable harvesting


  • Agriculture
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Applied Mathematics

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