From stage to age in variable environments: Life expectancy and survivorship

Shripad Tuljapurkar, Carol C. Horvitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Stage-based demographic data are now available on many species of plants and some animals, and they often display temporal and spatial variability. We provide exact formulas to compute age-specific life expectancy and survivorship from stage-based data for three models of temporal variability: cycles, serially independent random variation, and a Markov chain. These models provide a comprehensive description of patterns of temporal variation. Our formulas describe the effects of cohort (birth) environmental condition on mortality at all ages, and of the effects on survivorship of environmental variability experienced over the course of life. This paper complements existing methods for time-invariant stage-based data, and adds to the information on population growth and dynamics available from stochastic demography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1497-1509
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006


  • Age structure
  • Calathea
  • Demography
  • Life expectancy
  • Markov chains
  • Stage structure
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology


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