Sensitivity of habitat network models to changes in maximum dispersal distance

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_787A7130892C
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Sensitivity of habitat network models to changes in maximum dispersal distance
Journal
PLOS ONE
Author(s)
Ortiz-Rodríguez Damian O., Guisan Antoine, Van Strien Maarten J.
ISSN
1932-6203
Publication state
Published
Issued date
06/11/2023
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
18
Number
11
Pages
e0293966
Language
english
Abstract
Predicting the presence or absence (occurrence-state) of species in a certain area is highly important for conservation. Occurrence-state can be assessed by network models that take suitable habitat patches as nodes, connected by potential dispersal of species. To determine connections, a connectivity threshold is set at the species’ maximum dispersal distance. However, this requires field observations prone to underestimation, so for most animal species there are no trustable maximum dispersal distance estimations. This limits the development of accurate network models to predict species occurrence-state. In this study, we performed a sensitivity analysis of the performance of network models to different settings of maximum dispersal distance. Our approach, applied on six amphibian species in Switzerland, used habitat suitability modelling to define habitat patches, which were linked within a dispersal distance threshold to form habitat networks. We used network topological measures, patch suitability, and patch size to explain species occurrence-state in habitat patches through boosted regression trees. These modelling steps were repeated on each species for different maximum dispersal distances, including a species-specific value from literature. We evaluated mainly the predictive performance and predictor importance among the network models. We found that predictive performance had a positive relation with the distance threshold, and that almost none of the species-specific values from literature yielded the best performance across tested thresholds. With increasing dispersal distance, the importance of the habitat-quality-related variable decreased, whereas that of the topology-related predictors increased. We conclude that the sensitivity of these models to the dispersal distance parameter stems from the very different topologies formed with different movement assumptions. Most reported maximum dispersal distances are underestimated, presumably due to leptokurtic dispersal distribution. Our results imply that caution should be taken when selecting a dispersal distance threshold, considering higher values than those derived from field reports, to account for long-distance dispersers.
Keywords
network modelling, species occurrence, occurrence-state, habitat suitability modelling, connectivity, amphibians, Switzerland
Pubmed
Open Access
Yes
Funding(s)
Swiss National Science Foundation / CR30I3_159250
Create date
29/10/2023 22:57
Last modification date
18/11/2023 7:07
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