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Black-swan events in animal populations
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Black-swan events in animal populations


This repository contains code for an analysis of heavy-tailed population dynamics for animal populations. It accompanies the paper:

Anderson, S.C., T.B. Branch, A.B. Cooper, N.K. Dulvy. Black-swan events in animal populations. In press at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To recreate the analysis, first you will need the following R packages installed:

install.packages(c("rstan", "dplyr", "plyr", "reshape2", "ggplot2", "gridExtra", 
  "RColorBrewer", "grImport", "TeachingDemos", "metRology", "xtable", "devtools",
  "skewt", "foreach", "Rcpp", "png"))

Theoretically, you should be able to run the entire analysis by sourcing the following R file:


However, many of the analyses will take a very long time to run (multiple days), and you might run into minor issues with changes to R packages over time. Therefore, it is probably more useful to open the file analysis/make.R and work through the analysis files as they are called. Alternatively, the .R files are named in the order they should be run. Files starting with the same number can be run in any order. These numbered files assume that your R working directory is the analysis folder. Output from a number of the Stan models is cached in .rds files that will be available with a freshly cloned repository. Delete these files to force the models to be fit again.


The analysis/gpdd/ folder contains data from the Global Population Dynamics Database:

NERC Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College (2010). The Global Population Dynamics Database Version 2.

The file analysis/brook-etal.csv contains a copy of the data from the supplemental Excel spreadsheet in:

Brook, B.W., Traill, L.W. & Bradshaw, C.J.A. (2006). Minimum viable population sizes and global extinction risk are unrelated. Ecol. Lett. 9, 375-382.

Package versions

It's possible that some portions of the analysis were run with earlier versions of R packages, but the versions of R packages installed at the time of publication were:

#>          package  version
#> 1       devtools   1.12.0
#> 2          dplyr    0.5.0
#> 3        foreach    1.4.3
#> 4        ggplot2    2.2.1
#> 5      gridExtra    2.2.1
#> 6       grImport    0.9-0
#> 7      metRology 0.9-23-2
#> 8           plyr    1.8.4
#> 9            png    0.1-7
#> 10  RColorBrewer    1.1-2
#> 11          Rcpp   0.12.9
#> 12      reshape2    1.4.2
#> 13         rstan   2.14.1
#> 14         skewt      0.1
#> 15 TeachingDemos     2.10
#> 16        xtable    1.8-2
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