Finding regulation among seemingly unregulated populations: a practical framework for analyzing multivariate population time series for their interactions Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. The structure of ecological communities is often thought to be strongly influenced by population interactions. The interactions are often labeled as bottom-up and top-down control. Previous approaches to identify these processes often assume each population in the community is itself regulated. Therefore, each time series follows a stationary process. However, complex community structure and a lack of regulation in an individual population can result in inappropriate inferences based on traditional statistical approaches. Here, we introduce a statistical framework to analyze potentially non-stationary time series that are collectively regulated. We demonstrate the method with catch-per-unit-effort time series data of selected populations in the Gulf of Mexico. In the Gulf, we found that most of the time series data, which span 26years, were non-stationary, thus individually unregulated. Species interaction patterns were location-dependent, but where brown shrimp interacted significantly with other species, we identified significant bottom-up forcing. On the other hand, we find almost no evidence of top-down forcing throughout the study areas.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhou, C., Fujiwara, M., & Grant, W. E.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Zhou, Can||Fujiwara, Masami||Grant, William E

publication date

  • June 2016