Intraspecific body-size dynamics on ecological and evolutionary time scales
Yngvild is preparing a talk for a conference, and would really appreciate some feedback on it before she goes! Please note the longer than usual time (the talk will be 45 minutes).
Body size differences and individual variation in growth can have large consequences for life history evolution and population dynamics. Because body size determines key life history processes such as reproduction and mortality, the size-structure of a population can drastically influence the dynamics of populations on both ecological and evolutionary time scales. Yet such variation is often ignored. Over the last decade integral projection models (IPMs) have been developed and applied to several size-structured populations, across different taxa. Recent developments link IPMs with quantitative genetics theory, thus providing a promising framework to understand eco-evolutionary dynamics on contemporary time scales. The approach is flexible and data efficient because regression is used to estimate vital rates as functions of the trait variable and other covariates (for instance climate variables, population density, or resource availability). In this presentation I will give an overview of IPMs and their application in size-structured populations, with specific examples from recent studies. I will also discuss the relationship between IPMs and other types of size-structured models, and some future challenges and opportunities.