Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2007.11.020
Title (Primary) Incorporating the perceptual range of animals into connectivity models
Author Pe'er, G.; Kramer-Schadt, S.
Journal Ecological Modelling
Year 2008
Department OESA
Volume 213
Issue 1
Page From 73
Page To 85
Language englisch
Keywords Dispersal; Connectivity; Perceptual range; Movement decisions; Spatial heterogeneity; Individual-based spatially explicit model; Heuristic model; Eurasian lynx; Spatial gradients; Directing stimuli
Abstract The perceptual range of an animal towards different landscape elements affects its movements through heterogeneous landscapes. However, empirical knowledge and modeling tools are lacking to assess the consequences of variation in the perceptual range for movement patterns and connectivity. In this study we tested how changes in the assumed perception of different landscape elements affect the outcomes of a connectivity model. We used an existing individual-based, spatially explicit model for the dispersal of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx). We systematically altered the perceptual range in which animals recognize forest fragments, water bodies or cities, as well as the probability that they respond to these landscape elements. Overall, increasing the perceptual range of the animals enhanced connectivity substantially, both qualitatively and quantitatively. An enhanced range of attraction to forests had the strongest impact, doubling immigration success; an enhanced range of attraction to rivers had a slightly lower impact; and an enhanced range of avoidance of cities had the lowest impact. Correcting the enhancement in connectivity by the abundance of each of the landscape elements in question reversed the results, indicating the potential sensitivity of connectivity models to rare landscape elements (in our case barriers such as cities). Qualitatively, the enhanced perception resulted in strong changes in movement patterns and connectivity. Furthermore, model results were highly parameter-specific and patch-specific. These results emphasize the need for further empirical research on the perceptual capabilities of different animals in different landscapes and conditions. They further indicate the usefulness of spatially explicit individual-based simulation models for recognizing consistent patterns that emerge, despite uncertainty regarding animals'' movement behavior. Altogether, this study demonstrates the need to extend the concept of ''perceptual ranges'' beyond patch detection processes, to encompass the wide range of elements that can direct animal movements during dispersal through heterogeneous landscapes.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Pe'er, G., Kramer-Schadt, S. (2008):
Incorporating the perceptual range of animals into connectivity models
Ecol. Model. 213 (1), 73 - 85