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Early Warning Signs and Critical Transitions in Ecology: Corals, Theory, Pitfalls, and Advances

Mathematical Biology

Speaker: Alan Hastings, UC Davis, Environmental Science and Policy
Location: 1147 MSB
Start time: Mon, Nov 24 2014, 3:10PM

I will start by describing specific ecological systems that have multiple stable states, lakes and coral algal grazer systems giving models of the latter. I will then discuss approaches for predicting sudden shifts in the face of slow parameter change. The approach will depend on developing a simple stochastic model and using this model to describe the data. A key element in describing the results will be the use of receiver-operator curves. This part of the talk will include both possibilities and pitfalls. I will then discuss how the use of data can both help and be misleading in judging the efficacy of warning signals.