PATCH is a spatially explicit, individual-based, life history simulator designed to project populations of territorial terrestrial vertebrate species through time. PATCH is ideal for investigations involving wildlife species that are mobile habitat specialists. PATCH's data requirements are minimal. It must be supplied with habitat maps, specifications for habitat use (territory size and habitat affinity), vital rates (survival and reproduction), and descriptions of a species movement behavior.
PATCH's principal demographic outputs include several measures of population size as a function of time, realized survival and fecundity rates (rates that reflect the limitations on a population imposed by habitat quality and landscape pattern), and assessments of the occupancy rate and source-sink behavior of the breeding sites present in a landscape.
The PATCH model is under active development, and future versions will be more flexible and better suited for a large range of species, life histories, landscapes, and stressors.
To this end, the following functionality is being added:
- Simulation of species interactions
- Co-simulation of male and female populations and their interactions
- Scenario-specific life cycle event sequences that are user-defined at run time
- The flexibility to use multiple habitat and stressor maps
- A mechanism for simulating irregular home ranges or territories
- The ability to model wildlife aggregations such as colonies or herds
- Explicit inclusion of density dependence effects