Estimating and Analyzing Demographic Models Using the popbio Package in R

Chris Stubben, Brook Milligan

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A complete assessment of population growth and viability from field census data often requires complex data manipulations, statistical routines, mathematical tools, programming environments, and graphical capabilities. We therefore designed an R package called popbio to facilitate both the construction and analysis of projection matrix models. The package consists primarily of the R translation of MATLAB code found in Caswell (2001) and Morris and Doak (2002) for the analysis of projection matrix models. The package also includes methods to estimate vital rates and construct projection matrix models from census data typically collected in plant demography studies. In these studies, vital rates can often be estimated directly from annual censuses of tagged individuals using transition frequency tables. Because the construction of projection matrix models requires careful management of census data, we describe the steps to construct a projection matrix in detail.

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