[MARMAM] New Publication: An interim framework for assessing the population consequences of disturbance

Stephanie King slk33 at st-andrews.ac.uk
Tue Jun 30 11:26:37 PDT 2015

Dear all, 

We are pleased to announce publication of the following article:

King, S. L., Schick, R. S., Donovan, C., Booth, C. G., Burgman, M., Thomas, L., Harwood, J. (2015). An interim framework for assessing the population consequences of disturbance. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12411


1. Changes in natural patterns of animal behaviour and physiology resulting from anthropogenic disturbance
may alter the conservation status of a population if they affect the ability of individuals to survive, breed or grow.
However, information to forecast population-level consequences of such changes is often lacking.
2. We developed an interim framework to assess the population consequences of disturbance when empirical
information is sparse.We show how daily effects of disturbance, which are often straightforward to estimate, can
be scaled to the disturbance duration and to multiple sources of disturbance.
3. We used expert elicitation to estimate parameters that define how changes in individual behaviour or physiology
affect vital rates and incorporated them into a stochastic population model. Model outputs can be used to
evaluate cumulative impacts of disturbance over space and time. As an example, we forecast the potential effects
of disturbance from offshore wind farm construction on the North Sea harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)
4. Synthesis and applications. The interim framework can be used to forecast the effects of disturbances from
human activities on animal populations, to assess the effectiveness of mitigation measures and to identify priority
areas for research that reduces uncertainty in population forecasts. The last two applications are likely to be
important in situations where there is a risk of unacceptable change in a species’ conservation status. The framework
should, however, be augmented with empirical data as soon as these are available.

You can access the article here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/2041-210X.12411/abstract

best wishes, 

Stephanie and co-authors 

Dr. Stephanie L. King
University of St Andrews
East Sands
St Andrews
KY16 8LB


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