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Performing a Population Viability Analysis from Data Students Collect on a Local Plant

By Noah Chamey1, Sydne Record2

1. Hampshire College 2. Harvard Univeristy

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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.


Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Noah Charney and Sydne Record. 11 November 2013, posting date. Performing a population viability analysis from data students collect on a local plant Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 9: Experiment #2 [online].

  • Noah Chamey; Sydne Record (2015), "Performing a Population Viability Analysis from Data Students Collect on a Local Plant,"

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Wendy Jo Levenson

University of Pittsburgh