Science Inventory

A new tool that links landscale connectivity and source-sink dynamics to population viability

Citation:

SCHUMAKER, N. H., A. F. BROOKES, AND J. A. Heinrichs. A new tool that links landscale connectivity and source-sink dynamics to population viability. Presented at 25th International Congress for Conservation Biology, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND, December 05 - 09, 2011.

Impact/Purpose:

The importance of connectivity and source-sink dynamics to conservation planning is widely appreciated.

Description:

The importance of connectivity and source-sink dynamics to conservation planning is widely appreciated. But the use of these concepts in practical applications such as the identification of critical habitat has been slowed because few models are designed to identify demographic sources and sinks, and popular methods for quantifying landscape connectivity tend to forgo realism in favor of tractability. Better linkages between connectivity and source-sink models, and greater biological and ecological realism are needed before landscape connectivity-based studies can more fully contribute to conservation planning. Here we illustrate how a new spatially-explicit population model (HexSim) addresses these challenges. HexSim is a versatile multi-species, multi-stressor life history simulator that can account for landscape change, road networks, landscape genetics, disease dynamics, and many other practical concerns. What distinguishes our new methodology is that source-sink dynamics and connectivity become emergent properties of HexSim simulations. It is not necessary to limit biological or ecological realism, to decompose landscapes into nodes or patches, or to identify sources, sinks, or dispersal corridors in advance. In this presentation, we will use a range-wide simulation of the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) to illustrate the model and methodology, and to tie our landscape connectivity metrics to the identification of critical habitat.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 12/07/2011
Record Last Revised: 11/19/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 236158

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS BRANCH