Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2017.12.002
Document author version
Title (Primary) Modelling movements of Saimaa ringed seals using an individual-based approach
Author Liukkonen, L.; Ayllón, D.; Kunnasranta, M.; Niemi, M.; Nabe-Nielsen, J.; Grimm, V.; Nyman, A.-M.
Journal Ecological Modelling
Year 2018
Department OESA; iDiv
Volume 368
Page From 321
Page To 335
Language englisch
Keywords Bycatch mortality; Conservation; Home range; Pattern-oriented modelling; Phoca hispida saimensis; Saimaa ringed seal; Spatially explicit individual-based model
UFZ wide themes RU5;
Abstract Movement is a fundamental element of animal behaviour, and it is the primary way through which animals respond to environmental changes. Therefore, understanding the drivers of individual movement is essential for species conservation. The endangered Saimaa ringed seal (Phoca hispida saimensis) lives land-locked in Lake Saimaa and is affected by various anthropogenic factors. Telemetry studies provide critical information but are insufficient to identify the mechanisms responsible for particular movement patterns. To better understand these mechanisms and to predict how changed movement patterns could influence the subspecies’ spatial ecology, we developed an individual-based movement model. We divided the seals’ daily routines into foraging and resting and explored how well the model captured observed home ranges and other movement metrics. Here we present the model, its predictions of home ranges and its sensitivity to model assumptions and parameter uncertainty. We used movement data from one individual to calibrate the model, but this resulted in poor predictions of home range sizes of five seals used for validation. This suggests that differences in movement paths not only reflect different landscape configurations but also differences among the individuals’ state and personalities. Therefore, we separately re-calibrated the model to data from five individuals, reproducing their home ranges, habitat use and movement paths more accurately. Although ignoring many aspects of seal behaviour, the model can be applied as a tool to guide further data collection and analysis, study seal ecology, and evaluate the efficacy of various conservation measures.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Liukkonen, L., Ayllón, D., Kunnasranta, M., Niemi, M., Nabe-Nielsen, J., Grimm, V., Nyman, A.-M. (2018):
Modelling movements of Saimaa ringed seals using an individual-based approach
Ecol. Model. 368 , 321 - 335