EPA Science Inventory

Using HexSim to link demography and genetics in animal and plant simulations

Citation:

Brookes, A., N. Schumaker, AND J. Day. Using HexSim to link demography and genetics in animal and plant simulations. Presented at International Association for Landscape Ecology 2014 Annual Symposium, Anchorage, AK, May 18 - 22, 2014.

Description:

Simulation models are essential for understanding the effects of land management practices and environmental drivers, including landscape change, shape population genetic structure and persistence probabilities. The emerging field of eco-evolutionary modeling is beginning to develop such analyses by linking individual-based demographic and genetic processes together within spatially-explicit simulation frameworks. However, the few existing tools in this class are actually either population genetics simulators that have been augmented with simple demographic models, or population viability simulators with simplified genetic parameters. To have practical value, eco-evolutionary models will have to acquire much more demographic and genetic sophistication. Here, we introduce a new simulation framework called HexSim that seamlessly connects a mature demographic model to a flexible genetics toolkit. HexSim can be used to develop eco-evolutionary population models for a wide variety of life histories, ranging in complexity from theoretically simple to realistic and detailed. We demonstrate how this new modeling framework can be a powerful tool for landscape geneticists, conservation biologists, evolutionary biologists, and others.

Purpose/Objective:

The EPA Office of Pesticide Products regulates pesticides, and pesticide impacts on non-target organisms are one criteria that is weighed when regulatory decisions are made. But pesticides can impact legally protected species, and in these cases a chemical’s effects on population viability become a concern. Population viability analysis (PVA) models are widely used to forecast population trends and viability into the future. However, this class of models has typically not addressed genetic concerns, such as inbreeding, that are particularly important in small populations. This short presentation will describe improvement being made to PVA models through the addition of population genetics, that allow researchers to address real-world population viability concerns that would otherwise be ignored.

URLs/Downloads:

ABSTRACT - BROOKES.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 125.729 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Completion Date: 05/27/2014
Record Last Revised: 05/27/2014
Record Created: 05/27/2014
Record Released: 05/27/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 276893

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS BRANCH