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An integrated model of habitat and species occurrence dynamics
Article first published online: 9 MAY 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Methods in Ecology and Evolution © 2011 British Ecological Society
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Volume 2, Issue 6, pages 612–622, December 2011
How to Cite
MacKenzie, D. I., Bailey, L. L., Hines, J. E. and Nichols, J. D. (2011), An integrated model of habitat and species occurrence dynamics. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2: 612–622. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2011.00110.x
- Issue published online: 5 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 9 MAY 2011
- Received 21 November 2010; accepted 28 February 2011 Handling Editor: Gabriel Brown
- Ambystoma maculatum;
- habitat modelling;
- multi-state occupancy;
- occupancy dynamics;
- species occurrence;
- spotted salamander;
- vernal pools
1. Relationships between animal populations and their habitats are well known and commonly acknowledged to be important by animal ecologists, conservation biologists and wildlife managers. Such relationships are most commonly viewed as static, such that habitat at time t is viewed as a determinant of animals present at that same time, t, or sometimes as a determinant of animal population or occurrence dynamics (e.g. between t and t+1).
2. Here, we motivate interest in simultaneous dynamics of both habitat and occupancy state (e.g. species presence or absence) and develop models to estimate parameters that describe the dynamics of such systems.
3. The models permit inference about transition probabilities for both habitat and focal species occupancy, such that habitat transitions may influence focal species transitions and vice versa.
4. Example analyses using data from salamanders in the eastern United States are presented for (i) the special case in which habitat is characterized as either suitable or unsuitable and (ii) the more general case in which different habitat states are expected to influence occupancy dynamics in a less extreme manner (occupancy is possible in the various habitat states).
5. We believe that the integrated inference methods presented here will be useful for a variety of ecological and conservation investigations and attain special relevance in the face of habitat dynamics driven by such factors as active management, land use changes and climate change.