Elasticity analysis as an important tool in evolutionary and population ecology

Tim G. Benton, Alastair Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

235 Citations (Scopus)


Elasticity analysis estimates the proportional change in the population growth rate for a proportional change in a vital rate (i.e. survival, growth or reproduction). It can be used to pinpoint those parts of an organism's life history that should be the focus of management effort, or those that contribute most to fitness. Recent theoretical work has emphasized some limitations of the technique, has overcome other problems, and has shown that it is robust to some violations of its underlying assumptions. Thus, although care is needed, elasticity analysis is a simple first step in answering important questions in evolutionary and population ecology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-471
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1999

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