Explicit Models (explicit + models)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Assessing ecosystem threats from global and regional change: hierarchical modeling of risk to sagebrush ecosystems from climate change, land use and invasive species in Nevada, USA

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 1 2010
Bethany A. Bradley
Global change poses significant challenges for ecosystem conservation. At regional scales, climate change may lead to extensive shifts in species distributions and widespread extirpations or extinctions. At landscape scales, land use and invasive species disrupt ecosystem function and reduce species richness. However, a lack of spatially explicit models of risk to ecosystems makes it difficult for science to inform conservation planning and land management. Here, I model risk to sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems in the state of Nevada, USA from climate change, land use/land cover change, and species invasion. Risk from climate change is based on an ensemble of 10 atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM) projections applied to two bioclimatic envelope models (Mahalanobis distance and Maxent). Risk from land use is based on the distribution of roads, agriculture, and powerlines, and on the spatial relationships between land use and probability of cheatgrass Bromus tectorum invasion in Nevada. Risk from land cover change is based on probability and extent of pinyon-juniper (Pinus monophylla; Juniperus spp.) woodland expansion. Climate change is most likely to negatively impact sagebrush ecosystems at the edges of its current range, particularly in southern Nevada, southern Utah, and eastern Washington. Risk from land use and woodland expansion is pervasive throughout Nevada, while cheatgrass invasion is most problematic in the northern part of the state. Cumulatively, these changes pose major challenges for conservation of sagebrush and sagebrush obligate species. This type of comprehensive assessment of ecosystem risk provides managers with spatially explicit tools important for conservation planning. [source]

Climatic influences and anthropogenic stressors: an integrated framework for streamflow management in Mediterranean-climate California, U.S.A.

Summary 1. In Mediterranean and other water-stressed climates, water management is critical to the conservation of freshwater ecosystems. To secure and maintain water allocations for the environment, integrated water management approaches are needed that consider ecosystem flow requirements, patterns of human water demands and the temporal and spatial dynamics of water availability. 2. Human settlements in Mediterranean climates have constructed water storage and conveyance projects at a scale and level of complexity far exceeding those in other, less seasonal climates. As a result, multiple ecological stressors associated with natural periods of flooding and drying are compounded by anthropogenic impacts resulting from water infrastructure development. 3. Despite substantial investments in freshwater ecosystem conservation, particularly in California, U.S.A., success has been limited because the scales at which river management and restoration are implemented are often discordant with the temporal and spatial scales at which ecosystem processes operate. Often, there is also strong social and political resistance to restricting water allocation to existing consumptive uses for environmental protection purposes. Furthermore, institutions rarely have the capacity to develop and implement integrated management programmes needed for freshwater ecosystem conservation. 4. We propose an integrated framework for streamflow management that explicitly considers the temporal and spatial dynamics of water supply and needs of both human and natural systems. This approach makes it possible to assess the effects of alternative management strategies to human water security and ecosystem conditions and facilitates integrated decision-making by water management institutions. 5. We illustrate the framework by applying a GIS-based hydrologic model in a Mediterranean-climate watershed in Sonoma County, California, U.S.A. The model is designed to assess the hydrologic impacts of multiple water users distributed throughout a stream network. We analyse the effects of vineyard water management on environmental flows to (i) evaluate streamflow impacts from small storage ponds designed to meet human water demands and reduce summer diversions, (ii) prioritise the placement of storage ponds to meet human water needs while optimising environmental flow benefits and (iii) examine the environmental and social consequences of flow management policies designed to regulate the timing of diversions to protect ecosystem functions. 6. Thematic implications: spatially explicit models that represent anthropogenic stressors (e.g. water diversions) and environmental flow needs are required to address persistent and growing threats to freshwater biodiversity. A coupled human,natural system approach to water management is particularly useful in Mediterranean climates, characterised by severe competition for water resources and high spatial and temporal variability in flow regimes. However, lessons learned from our analyses are applicable to other highly seasonal systems and those that are expected to have increased precipitation variability resulting from climate change. [source]

Incorporating movement into models of grey seal population dynamics

Summary 1One of the most difficult problems in developing spatially explicit models of population dynamics is the validation and parameterization of the movement process. We show how movement models derived from capture,recapture analysis can be improved by incorporating them into a spatially explicit metapopulation model that is fitted to a time series of abundance data. 2We applied multisite capture,recapture analysis techniques to photo-identification data collected from female grey seals at the four main breeding colonies in the North Sea between 1999 and 2001. The best-fitting movement models were then incorporated into state-space metapopulation models that explicitly accounted for demographic and observational stochasticity. 3These metapopulation models were fitted to a 20-year time series of pup production data for each colony using a Bayesian approach. The best-fitting model, based on the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), had only a single movement parameter, whose confidence interval was 82% less than that obtained from the capture,recapture study, but there was some support for a model that included an effect of distance between colonies. 4The state-space modelling provided improved estimates of other demographic parameters. 5The incorporation of movement, and the way in which it was modelled, affected both local and regional dynamics. These differences were most evident as colonies approached their carrying capacities, suggesting that our ability to discriminate between models should improve as the length of the grey seal time series increases. [source]

Assessing the suitability of central European landscapes for the reintroduction of Eurasian lynx

Stephanie Schadt
Summary 1After an absence of almost 100 years, the Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx is slowly recovering in Germany along the German,Czech border. Additionally, many reintroduction schemes have been discussed, albeit controversially, for various locations. We present a habitat suitability model for lynx in Germany as a basis for further management and conservation efforts aimed at recolonization and population development. 2We developed a statistical habitat model using logistic regression to quantify the factors that describe lynx home ranges in a fragmented landscape. As no data were available for lynx distribution in Germany, we used data from the Swiss Jura Mountains for model development and validated the habitat model with telemetry data from the Czech Republic and Slovenia. We derived several variables describing land use and fragmentation, also introducing variables that described the connectivity of forested and non-forested semi-natural areas on a larger scale than the map resolution. 3We obtained a model with only one significant variable that described the connectivity of forested and non-forested semi-natural areas on a scale of about 80 km2. This result is biologically meaningful, reflecting the absence of intensive human land use on the scale of an average female lynx home range. Model testing at a cut-off level of P > 0·5 correctly classified more than 80% of the Czech and Slovenian telemetry location data of resident lynx. Application of the model to Germany showed that the most suitable habitats for lynx were large-forested low mountain ranges and the large forests in east Germany. 4Our approach illustrates how information on habitat fragmentation on a large scale can be linked with local data to the potential benefit of lynx conservation in central Europe. Spatially explicit models like ours can form the basis for further assessing the population viability of species of conservation concern in suitable patches. [source]

New approaches to understanding late Quaternary climate fluctuations and refugial dynamics in Australian wet tropical rain forests

Jeremy VanDerWal
Abstract Aim, We created spatially explicit models of palaeovegetation stability for the rain forests of the Australia Wet Tropics. We accounted for the climatic fluctuations of the late Quaternary, improving upon previous palaeovegetation modelling for the region in terms of data, approach and coverage of predictions. Location, Australian Wet Tropics. Methods, We generated climate-based distribution models for broad rain forest vegetation types using contemporary and reconstructed ,pre-clearing' vegetation data. Models were projected onto previously published palaeoclimate scenarios dating to c. 18 kyr bp. Vegetation stability was estimated as the average likelihood that a location was suitable for rain forest through all climate scenarios. Uncertainty associated with model projections onto novel environmental conditions was also tracked. Results, Upland rain forest was found to be the most stable of the wet forest vegetation types examined. We provide evidence that the lowland rain forests were largely extirpated from the region during the last glacial maximum, with only small, marginally suitable fragments persisting in two areas. Models generated using contemporary vegetation data underestimated the area of environmental space suitable for rain forest in historical time periods. Model uncertainty resulting from projection onto novel environmental conditions was low, but generally increased with the number of years before present being modelled. Main conclusions, Climate fluctuations of the late Quaternary probably resulted in dramatic change in the extent of rain forest in the region. Pockets of high-stability upland rain forest were identified, but extreme bottlenecks of area were predicted for lowland rain forest. These factors are expected to have had a dramatic impact on the historical dynamics of population connectivity and patterns of extinction and recolonization of dependent fauna. Finally, we found that models trained on contemporary vegetation data can be problematic for reconstructing vegetation patterns under novel environmental conditions. Climatic tolerances and the historical extent of vegetation may be underestimated when artificial vegetation boundaries imposed by land clearing are not taken into account. [source]

THE STATE OF THE FIELD: Spatially explicit Bayesian clustering models in population genetics

Abstract This article reviews recent developments in Bayesian algorithms that explicitly include geographical information in the inference of population structure. Current models substantially differ in their prior distributions and background assumptions, falling into two broad categories: models with or without admixture. To aid users of this new generation of spatially explicit programs, we clarify the assumptions underlying the models, and we test these models in situations where their assumptions are not met. We show that models without admixture are not robust to the inclusion of admixed individuals in the sample, thus providing an incorrect assessment of population genetic structure in many cases. In contrast, admixture models are robust to an absence of admixture in the sample. We also give statistical and conceptual reasons why data should be explored using spatially explicit models that include admixture. [source]

The demography of introduction pathways, propagule pressure and occurrences of non-native freshwater fish in England

G. H. Copp
Abstract 1.Biological invasion theory predicts that the introduction and establishment of non-native species is positively correlated with propagule pressure. Releases of pet and aquarium fishes to inland waters has a long history; however, few studies have examined the demographic basis of their importation and incidence in the wild. 2.For the 1500 grid squares (10×10,km) that make up England, data on human demographics (population density, numbers of pet shops, garden centres and fish farms), the numbers of non-native freshwater fishes (from consented licences) imported in those grid squares (i.e. propagule pressure), and the reported incidences (in a national database) of non-native fishes in the wild were used to examine spatial relationships between the occurrence of non-native fishes and the demographic factors associated with propagule pressure, as well as to test whether the demographic factors are statistically reliable predictors of the incidence of non-native fishes, and as such surrogate estimators of propagule pressure. 3.Principal coordinates of neighbour matrices analyses, used to generate spatially explicit models, and confirmatory factor analysis revealed that spatial distributions of non-native species in England were significantly related to human population density, garden centre density and fish farm density. Human population density and the number of fish imports were identified as the best predictors of propagule pressure. 4.Human population density is an effective surrogate estimator of non-native fish propagule pressure and can be used to predict likely areas of non-native fish introductions. In conjunction with fish movements, where available, human population densities can be used to support biological invasion monitoring programmes across Europe (and perhaps globally) and to inform management decisions as regards the prioritization of areas for the control of non-native fish introductions. © Crown copyright 2010. Reproduced with the permission of her Majesty's Stationery Office. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]