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Dynamic Habitat Disturbance and Ecological Resilience (DyHDER): Modeling population responses to habitat condition

February 3, 2020

Understanding how populations respond to spatially heterogeneous habitat disturbance is as critical to conservation as it is challenging. Here, we present a new, free, and open-source metapopulation model: Dynamic Habitat Disturbance and Ecological Resilience (DyHDER), which incorporates subpopulation habitat condition and connectivity into a population viability analysis framework. Modeling temporally dynamic and spatially explicit habitat disturbance of varying magnitude and duration is accomplished through the use of habitat time-series data and a mechanistic approach to adjusting subpopulation vital rates. Additionally, DyHDER uses a probabilistic dispersal model driven by site-specific habitat suitability, density dependence, and directionally dependent connectivity. In the first application of DyHDER, we explore how fragmentation and projected climate change are predicted to impact a well-studied Bonneville cutthroat trout metapopulation in the Logan River (Utah, USA). The DyHDER model predicts which subpopulations are most susceptible to disturbance, as well as the potential interactions between stressors. Further, the model predicts how populations may be expected to redistribute following disturbance. This information is valuable to conservationists and managers faced with protecting populations of conservation concern across landscapes undergoing changing disturbance regimes. The DyHDER model provides a valuable and generalizable new tool to explore metapopulation resilience to spatially and temporally dynamic stressors for a diverse range of taxa and ecosystems.

Publication Year 2020
Title Dynamic Habitat Disturbance and Ecological Resilience (DyHDER): Modeling population responses to habitat condition
DOI 10.1002/ecs2.3023
Authors Brendan P. Murphy, Timothy E. Walsworth, Patrick Belmont, Mary M. Conner, Phaedra E. Budy
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecosphere
Index ID 70228278
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle