Influence of separating home range and dispersal movements on characterizing corridors and effective distances

Sandra Blazquez-Cabrera, Aitor Gastón, Paul Beier, Germán Garrote, Miguel Ángel Simón, Santiago Saura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context: Corridors are usually delineated as areas of minimum cumulative resistance to movement through a resistance surface and characterized by their effective distance (accumulated resistance along the least-cost path). The results of these assessments depend on resistance values, which are typically derived from the inverse of habitat suitability models or from presence data of individuals within their home ranges, rather than from data on dispersal or exploratory movements. Objective: Evaluate the extent to which corridor delineation and effective distance estimates may vary depending on whether home range locations or dispersal data are used to characterize species habitat selection and landscape resistance to movement. Methods: We analyzed a large telemetry dataset (GPS collars) for the endangered Iberian lynx. We modeled corridors and effective distances three ways: (1) considering only GPS locations within home ranges, (2) considering only locations in dispersal or exploratory movements outside home ranges, and (3) considering all locations together. Results: Delineated least-cost corridors followed similar trajectories and sometimes overlapped in the three models. The estimated effective distances were 42 % lower in the dispersal-based model than in the model based solely on home range use. Conclusions: Models derived exclusively from locations within home ranges may provide lower connectivity estimates than models derived from dispersal locations, affecting estimates of resistance to move between habitat areas, even when the most likely movement routes are similar. Although dispersal data are costly to gather, they potentially provide more realistic assessments of the actual isolation of populations in heterogeneous landscapes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalLandscape Ecology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 5 2016

Keywords

  • Connectivity
  • Dispersal plasticity
  • Habitat preferences
  • Habitat suitability
  • Landscape resistance
  • Least-cost paths
  • Lynx pardinus
  • Permeability
  • Resource selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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