Local population dynamics and viability analyses

Copia de Hura 87, pardela 2

Scopoli’s shearwater in burrow. Photo credit: Jose Manuel Igual

The study of animal populations requires to get information at the individual level. This information can be gathered using mark-recapture tecniques, which consist in marking a number of individuals (a sample of the population) and follow them over time, generating a series of encounters that are eventually analyzed to generate vital rate estimates such as survival probabilities.


Mediterranean ground tortoise in native forest habitat. Ebro delta (Catalonia)


Survival has a central role in the dynamics of wild populations. Individual survival is crucial for population growth, as new offspring can only be produced if some individuals survive and breed. This is, if not the main topic, a recurrent topic in my research and has allowed me to understand how wild populations function and may respond to future challenges, such as climate change.

Related publications:

  • Fernández-Chacón A, Bertolero A, Amengual A, Tavecchia G, Homar V, Oro D. 2011. Spatial heterogeneity in the effects of climate change on the population dynamics of a Mediterranean tortoise. Global Change Biology 17:3075-3088
  • Genovart M, Sanz-Aguilar A, Fernández-Chacón A, Igual JM, Pradel R, Forero MG, Oro D, Roulin A. 2013. Contrasting effects of climatic variability on the demography of a trans-equatorial migratory seabird. Journal of Animal Ecology 82:121–130.
  • Fernández-Chacón A, Genovart M, Alvarez D, Cano JM, Ojanguren AF, Rodríguez-Muñoz R, Nicieza AG. 2015. Neighbouring populations, opposite dynamics: influence of body size and environmental variation on the demography of stream-resident brown trout (Salmo trutta). Oecologia 178: 379-389.
  • Hwan J, Fernández-Chacón A, Buoro M, Carlson S. 2017. Dry season survival of juvenile salmonids in an intermittent coastal stream. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (in press).