During two lab periods, students collect demographic data on perennial plants and then use these data in a matrix model to perform population viability analyses. During the first lab, students tag and record data on individual plants in the field. During the second lab, students compile these data to build transition matrices and then use R to run simulations. In the first year that instructors run this experiment, simulated field data of subsequent years is used to complete the classroom exercises. In subsequent years, students use real data from previous years. No prior experience with R is necessary.
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