Full-annual-cycle population models for migratory birds

TitleFull-annual-cycle population models for migratory birds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHostetler, JA, Sillett, TScott, Marra, PP
JournalThe Auk
Pagination433 - 449
Date Published2015/03/04/
ISBN Number0004-8038

Full-annual-cycle (FAC) models integrate seasonal demographic and environmental processes to elucidate the factors that limit and regulate animal populations. Unlike traditional, breeding-season-focused models of migratory populations, FAC population models include the effects on population dynamics of events in both the breeding and the nonbreeding season (i.e. winter and migration). Given that migratory birds can spend most of the year away from the breeding grounds and face seasonally specific threats and limitation, FAC models can provide critical and unique insights about their population dynamics. We review existing FAC population model types, including demographic network models, seasonal matrix models, and individual-based models, with examples of each type. We also suggest some approaches new to FAC population modeling—integrated population models and integral projection models—and make recommendations for the development and implementation of these models. Incorporating model components such as density dependence, migratory connectivity (the demographic linkages between breeding and nonbreeding areas), and seasonal interactions can be critical for model realism but can also increase model complexity and development time. Much of the development of FAC population models has been more theoretical than applied. The main limitation to the application of the developed models is availability of empirical data for all annual stages, particularly knowledge of migratory connectivity and density-dependent seasonal survival. As these data become more available, the models outlined here should find additional uses.

Short TitleThe Auk