From individual behavior to metapopulation dynamics: unifying the patchy population and classic metapopulation models.

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Am Nat. 2004 Sep;164(3):364-77. Epub 2004 Jul 30.

Title: From individual behavior to metapopulation dynamics: unifying the patchy population and classic metapopulation models.
Author: Ovaskainen, Otso; Hanski, Ilkka
Other contributor: Metapopulation Research Group, Department of Biological Science, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, Viikinkaari 1, FI-00014, Finland. otso.ovaskainen@helsinki.fi
Date: 2004
ISSN: 1537-5323
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/423151
http://hdl.handle.net/1975/7219
Abstract: Spatially structured populations in patchy habitats show much variation in migration rate, from patchy populations in which individuals move repeatedly among habitat patches to classic metapopulations with infrequent migration among discrete populations. To establish a common framework for population dynamics in patchy habitats, we describe an individual-based model (IBM) involving a diffusion approximation of correlated random walk of individual movements. As an example, we apply the model to the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) inhabiting a highly fragmented landscape. We derive stochastic patch occupancy model (SPOM) approximations for the IBMs assuming pure demographic stochasticity, uncorrelated environmental stochasticity, or completely correlated environmental stochasticity in local dynamics. Using realistic parameter values for the Glanville fritillary, we show that the SPOMs mimic the behavior of the IBMs well. The SPOMs derived from IBMs have parameters that relate directly to the life history and behavior of individuals, which is an advantage for model interpretation and parameter estimation. The modeling approach that we describe here provides a unified framework for patchy populations with much movements among habitat patches and classic metapopulations with infrequent movements.


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