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Ecological Informatics 80:102492 (2024)Download free pdf

Population dynamic life history models of the birds and mammals of the world

Lars Witting

Abstract: With life history traits determining the natural selection fitnesses of individuals and growth of populations, estimates of their variation are essential to advance evolutionary understanding and ecological management during times of global change. As life history data are incomplete or missing for most species, I combine data and natural selection theory to construct a meta natural selection model of the population dynamic life history (PDLH) variation in birds and mammals. This generates PDLH models for 11,187 species of birds and 4,936 mammals, covering 29 life history and ecological traits per species. The inter-specific variation of the meta model is used to illustrate underlying natural selection mechanisms, and to explain a diverse range of population dynamic trajectories by the inclusion of population dynamic regulation. This provides essential steps towards improved evolutionary analyses and freely accessible ready-to-use online population dynamic simulations, covering most species of birds and mammals.

This article has been certified and accepted after peer review, and published as Open Access in Ecological Informatics 80:102492 (2024) under the CC BY NC SA 4.0 International license