9: Leslie Matrices

MCED Chapter 09


Leslie Matrices


Dagmar Söndgerath

Abstract (from the book)

This chapter introduces matrix models – used to describe the dynamics of populations classified by age or other criteria like size or stage. It will be shown how characteristic values of the Leslie matrix, i.e. eigenvalues and eigenvectors, are used to determine the asymptotic behaviour of the population. Elasticity analysis deals with the effects of small parameter changes on population growth. As a result, values for the relative importance of specific life history parameters for the population dynamics are given. For example, these values can be used in conservation to identify those parts of an organism’s life history where management methods should focus. Finally, an extended Leslie model for populations with both age and stage structure will be introduced and used to forecast the effects of climate change on the voltinism and range of occurrence of a dragonfly species.