Discussion Questions

Adding Sources of Uncertainty

  • What are the different sources of uncertainty?
  • What is the distinction between uncertainties & sources of variation?
  • Can uncertainty in initial conditions be reduced with more data?
  • What is the difference between the additive process error and observation error?
  • What information do covariance matrices provide?

Thinking probabilistically

  • How do the boxes in the graphical model of logistic growth relate to the sources of uncertainty?


  • How does disturbance make forecasting difficult?
  • Which components of uncertainty (e.g., in eq. 2.1) have the potential to grow through time?
  • What implications does this have for our ability to forecast
  • What aspects of external drivers make systems easy vs. difficult to forecast?
  • Are there implications of the need for different experimental designs for forecasting vs. hypothesis testing for how we should do science?
  • What is the difference between parameter uncertainty and parameter variability?
  • What kinds of uncertainty/variability do you think are most important in ecological systems?