Demographic theory for an open marine population with space- limited recruitment.

J. Roughgarden, Y. Iwasa, C. Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

389 Citations (Scopus)


Introduces a demographic model for a local population of sessile marine invertebrates that have a pelagic larval phase, eg Balanus glandula. The processes in the model are the settling of larvae onto empty space, and the growth and mortality of the settled organisms. The rate of settlement per unit of unoccupied space is assumed to be determined by factors outside of the local system. The model predicts the number of animals of each age in the local system through time. The principal result is that the growth of the settled organisms is destabilizing. There is always a steady state where recruitment balances mortality, but growth can interfere with recruitment and can destabilize this steady state, provided also that the settlement rate is sufficiently high. The model suggests that 2 distinct pictures of population structure result, depending on settlement rate. In the high settlement limit, the intertidal landscape is a mosaic of cohorts, punctuated with occasional gaps of vacant substrate. In the low settlement limit, the intertidal landscape has vacant space and organisms of all ages mixed together, and spatial variation in abundance is caused by microgeographic variation in settlement and mortality rates. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-67
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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