Local buffer mechanisms for population persistence
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Assessing and predicting the persistence of populations is essential for the conservation and control of species. Here, we argue that local mechanisms require a better conceptual synthesis to facilitate a more holistic consideration along with regional mechanisms known from metapopulation theory. We summarise the evidence for local buffer mechanisms along with their capacities and emphasise the need to include multiple buffer mechanisms in studies of population persistence. We propose an accessible framework for local buffer mechanisms that distinguishes between damping (reducing fluctuations in population size) and repelling (reducing population declines) mechanisms. We highlight opportunities for empirical and modelling studies to investigate the interactions and capacities of buffer mechanisms to facilitate better ecological understanding in times of ecological upheaval.