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    To this point, our analysis of population processes and viability in the western prairie fringed orchid has used only deterministic models. In this exercise, we conduct a similar analysis, using a stochastic model instead. This distinction is of great importance to population biology in general and to conservation biology in particular. In deterministic models, transition probabilities are held constant throughout the projected time period, and populations are allowed to increase without bound (Beissinger and Westphal 1998). Deterministic models are mathematically convenient, but biologically unrealistic. As population biologist Robert Lacy has noted, "With the exception of aging, almost all events in the life of an organism are stochastic." (Lacy 1993).

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    Sieg, Carolyn Hull; King, Rudy M.; Van Dyke, Fred. 2003. Using stochastic models to incorporate spatial and temporal variability [Exercise 14]. In: Van Dyke, Fred, ed. A Workbook In Conservation: Solving Practical Problems in Conservation. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. p. 109-113.


    stochastic model, spatial and temporal variability, western prairie fringed orchid

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