A comprehensive literature review and modeling effort have been conducted in order to determine which vital rates are most important to determining the growth and sustainability of marine mammal populations. Also addressed are the impacts of life-history, ecological, and genetic variation on vital rates and population sustainability and how much each vital parameter can change before a change in population trend would be expected. Additionally, the influence of ecological energetics and foraging strategies on vital rates and their limits of sustainable change are examined, and the nature of how an increase in sound in the marine environment might influence marine mammal behavior, and thus life functions, vital rates and population sustainability is explored.
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