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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.


Published in Ecosphere by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Ecological Society of America. Available via doi: 10.1002/ecs2.4650.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.