Simple representations of biomass dynamics in structured populations

R.M. Nisbet, E. McCauley, William Gurney, W.W. Murdoch, A.M. de Roos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The research described in this chapter represents part of a larger program whose aim is to provide the knowledge and tools to better understand the dynamics of natural and managed ecosystems. More specifically, we aim to
produce mathematical models that can translate the effects of environmental
stress on individual aquatic organisms to the dynamics of populations. One
very practical concern motivates this work: while environmental management
demands understanding of long-term effects of stress on populations of plants
and animals, much experimental information relates only to short-term effects
on individuals. We are addressing this concern by establishing how to develop
testable, individual-based models (DeAngelis and Gross 1992) capable of predicting population responses to environmental change. For example, the physiological response of many animals to certain forms of environmental stress (e.g., eutrophication, toxicants, lake acidification) involves changes in the rates of assimilation and utilization of food. Our overall aim is to predict the consequences for the dynamics of natural populations of these changes in
individual energy acquisition and use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCase studies in mathematical modeling
Subtitle of host publicationecology, physiology and cell biology
EditorsH. Othmer, F. Adler, M.A. Lewis, J.C. Dallon
Place of PublicationNew Jersey
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 1996


  • simple representations
  • biomass dynamics
  • structured populations


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