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Brian Dennis

Bio: Brian Dennis is an academic researcher from University of Idaho. The author has contributed to research in topics: Population & Allee effect. The author has an hindex of 44, co-authored 103 publications receiving 8655 citations. Previous affiliations of Brian Dennis include University of California, Santa Barbara.


Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The model suggests that the Puerto Rican Parrot faces little risk of extinction from ordinary environmental fluctuations, provided intensive management efforts continue, and can be useful for investigating various scientific and management questions concerning species preservation.
Abstract: Survival or extinction of an endangered species is inherently stochastic. We develop statistical methods for estimating quantities related to growth rates and extinction probabilities from time series data on the abundance of a single population. The statistical methods are based on a stochastic model of exponential growth arising from the biological theory of age- or stage-structured populations. The model incorporates the so-called en- vironmental type of stochastic fluctuations and yields a lognormal probability distribution of population abundance. Calculation of maximum likelihood estimates of the two un- known parameters in this model reduces to performing a simple linear regression. We describe techniques for rigorously testing and evaluating whether the model fits a given data set. Various growth- and extinction-related quantities are functions of the two param- eters, including the continuous rate of increase, the finite rate of increase, the geometric finite rate of increase, the probability of reaching a lower threshold population size, the mean, median, and most likely time of attaining the threshold, and the projected population size. Maximum likelihood estimates and minimum variance unbiased estimates of these quantities are described in detail. We provide example analyses of data on the Whooping Crane (Grus americana), grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) in Yellowstone, Kirtland's Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii), California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus), Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata), Palila (Loxioides balleui), and Laysan Finch (Telespyza cantans). The model results indicate a favorable outlook for the Whooping Crane, but long-term unfavorable prospects for the Yellowstone grizzly bear population and for Kirtland's Warbler. Results for the California Condor, in a retrospective analysis, indicate a virtual emergency existed in 1980. The analyses suggest that the Puerto Rican Parrot faces little risk of extinction from ordinary environmental fluctuations, provided intensive management efforts continue. However, the model does not account for the possibility of freak catastrophic events (hurricanes, fires, etc.), which are likely the most severe source of risk to the Puerto Rican Parrot, as shown by the recent decimation of this population by Hurricane Hugo. Model parameter estimates for the Palila and the Laysan Finch have wide uncertainty due to the extreme fluctuations in the population sizes of these species. In general, the model fits the example data sets well. We conclude that the model, and the associated statistical methods, can be useful for investigating various scientific and management questions concerning species preservation.

582 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a new statistical test for detecting density dependence in uni-varying time series observations of population abundances is proposed, which is a likelihood ratio test based on a discrete time stochastic logistic model.
Abstract: We report on a new statistical test for detecting density dependence in uni- variate time series observations of population abundances. The test is a likelihood ratio test based on a discrete time stochastic logistic model. The null hypothesis is that the population is undergoing stochastic exponential growth, stochastic exponential decline, or random walk. The distribution of the test statistic under both the null and alternate hy- potheses is obtained through parametric bootstrapping. We document the power of the test with extensive simulations and show how some previous tests in the literature for density dependence suffer from either excessive Type I or excessive Type II error. The new test appears robust against sampling or measurement error in the observations. In fact, under certain types of error the power of the new test is actually increased. Example analyses of elk (Cervus elaphus) and grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) data sets are provided. The model implies that density-dependent populations do not have a point equilibrium, but rather reach a stochastic equilibrium (stationary distribution of population abundance). The model and associated statistical methods have potentially important applications in conservation biology.

551 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors derived three properties of stochastic multispecies communities that measure different characteristics associated with community stability using first-order multivariate autoregressive (MAR(1)) models.
Abstract: Natural ecological communities are continuously buffeted by a varying environment, often making it difficult to measure the stability of communities using concepts requiring the existence of an equilibrium point. Instead of an equilibrium point, the equilibrial state of communities subject to environmental stochasticity is a stationary distribution, which is characterized by means, variances, and other statistical moments. Here, we derive three properties of stochastic multispecies communities that measure different characteristics associated with community stability. These properties can be estimated from multispecies time-series data using first-order multivariate autoregressive (MAR(1)) models. We demonstrate how to estimate the parameters of MAR(1) models and obtain confidence intervals for both parameters and the measures of stability. We also address the problem of estimation when there is observation (measurement) error. To illustrate these methods, we compare the stability of the planktonic commun...

478 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Although there is conclusive evidence for Allee effects due to a variety of mechanisms in natural populations of 59 animal species, it is found that existing data addressing the strength and commonness ofAllee effects across species and populations is limited; evidence for a critical density for most populations is lacking.
Abstract: Allee effects are an important dynamic phe- nomenon believed to be manifested in several population processes, notably extinction and invasion. Though widely cited in these contexts, the evidence for their strength and prevalence has not been critically evaluated. We review results from 91 studies on Allee effects in natural animal populations. We focus on empirical signatures that are used or might be used to detect Allee effects, the types of data in which Allee effects are evident, the empirical support for the occurrence of critical densities in natural populations, and differences among taxa both in the presence of Allee effects and primary causal mechanisms. We find that conclusive examples are known from Mollusca, Arthrop- oda, and Chordata, including three classes of vertebrates, and are most commonly documented to result from mate limitation in invertebrates and from predator-prey inter- actions in vertebrates. More than half of studies failed to distinguish component and demographic Allee effects in data, although the distinction is crucial to most of the population-level dynamic implications associated with Allee effects (e.g., the existence of an unstable critical density associated with strong Allee effects). Thus, although we find conclusive evidence for Allee effects due to a variety of mechanisms in natural populations of 59 animal species, we also find that existing data addressing the strength and commonness of Allee effects across species and populations is limited; evidence for a critical density for most popula- tions is lacking. We suggest that current studies, mainly observational in nature, should be supplemented by popu- lation-scale experiments and approaches connecting component and demographic effects.

420 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols used xiii 1.
Abstract: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols Used xiii 1. The Importance of Islands 3 2. Area and Number of Speicies 8 3. Further Explanations of the Area-Diversity Pattern 19 4. The Strategy of Colonization 68 5. Invasibility and the Variable Niche 94 6. Stepping Stones and Biotic Exchange 123 7. Evolutionary Changes Following Colonization 145 8. Prospect 181 Glossary 185 References 193 Index 201

14,171 citations

Book
21 Mar 2002
TL;DR: An essential textbook for any student or researcher in biology needing to design experiments, sample programs or analyse the resulting data is as discussed by the authors, covering both classical and Bayesian philosophies, before advancing to the analysis of linear and generalized linear models Topics covered include linear and logistic regression, simple and complex ANOVA models (for factorial, nested, block, split-plot and repeated measures and covariance designs), and log-linear models Multivariate techniques, including classification and ordination, are then introduced.
Abstract: An essential textbook for any student or researcher in biology needing to design experiments, sample programs or analyse the resulting data The text begins with a revision of estimation and hypothesis testing methods, covering both classical and Bayesian philosophies, before advancing to the analysis of linear and generalized linear models Topics covered include linear and logistic regression, simple and complex ANOVA models (for factorial, nested, block, split-plot and repeated measures and covariance designs), and log-linear models Multivariate techniques, including classification and ordination, are then introduced Special emphasis is placed on checking assumptions, exploratory data analysis and presentation of results The main analyses are illustrated with many examples from published papers and there is an extensive reference list to both the statistical and biological literature The book is supported by a website that provides all data sets, questions for each chapter and links to software

9,509 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The use (and misuse) of GLMMs in ecology and evolution are reviewed, estimation and inference are discussed, and 'best-practice' data analysis procedures for scientists facing this challenge are summarized.
Abstract: How should ecologists and evolutionary biologists analyze nonnormal data that involve random effects? Nonnormal data such as counts or proportions often defy classical statistical procedures. Generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) provide a more flexible approach for analyzing nonnormal data when random effects are present. The explosion of research on GLMMs in the last decade has generated considerable uncertainty for practitioners in ecology and evolution. Despite the availability of accurate techniques for estimating GLMM parameters in simple cases, complex GLMMs are challenging to fit and statistical inference such as hypothesis testing remains difficult. We review the use (and misuse) of GLMMs in ecology and evolution, discuss estimation and inference and summarize 'best-practice' data analysis procedures for scientists facing this challenge.

7,207 citations

Journal ArticleDOI

6,278 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors provide a unified and comprehensive theory of structural time series models, including a detailed treatment of the Kalman filter for modeling economic and social time series, and address the special problems which the treatment of such series poses.
Abstract: In this book, Andrew Harvey sets out to provide a unified and comprehensive theory of structural time series models. Unlike the traditional ARIMA models, structural time series models consist explicitly of unobserved components, such as trends and seasonals, which have a direct interpretation. As a result the model selection methodology associated with structural models is much closer to econometric methodology. The link with econometrics is made even closer by the natural way in which the models can be extended to include explanatory variables and to cope with multivariate time series. From the technical point of view, state space models and the Kalman filter play a key role in the statistical treatment of structural time series models. The book includes a detailed treatment of the Kalman filter. This technique was originally developed in control engineering, but is becoming increasingly important in fields such as economics and operations research. This book is concerned primarily with modelling economic and social time series, and with addressing the special problems which the treatment of such series poses. The properties of the models and the methodological techniques used to select them are illustrated with various applications. These range from the modellling of trends and cycles in US macroeconomic time series to to an evaluation of the effects of seat belt legislation in the UK.

4,252 citations