Spatially explicit dynamic N-mixture models

Population Ecology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Knowledge of demographic parameters such as survival, reproduction, emigration, and immigration is essential to understand metapopulation dynamics. Traditionally the estimation of these demographic parameters requires intensive data from marked animals. The development of dynamic N-mixture models makes it possible to estimate demographic parameters from count data of unmarked animals, but the original dynamic N-mixture model does not distinguish emigration and immigration from survival and reproduction, limiting its ability to explain important metapopulation processes such as movement among local populations. In this study we developed a spatially explicit dynamic N-mixture model that estimates survival, reproduction, emigration, local population size, and detection probability from count data under the assumption that movement only occurs among adjacent habitat patches. Simulation studies showed that the inference of our model depends on detection probability, local population size, and the implementation of robust sampling design. Our model provides reliable estimates of survival, reproduction, and emigration when detection probability is high, regardless of local population size or the type of sampling design. When detection probability is low, however, our model only provides reliable estimates of survival, reproduction, and emigration when local population size is moderate to high and robust sampling design is used. A sensitivity analysis showed that our model is robust against the violation of the assumption that movement only occurs among adjacent habitat patches, suggesting wide applications of this model. Our model can be used to improve our understanding of metapopulation dynamics based on count data that are relatively easy to collect in many systems.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Spatially explicit dynamic N-mixture models
Series title Population Ecology
DOI 10.1007/s10144-017-0600-7
Volume 59
Issue 4
Year Published 2017
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 8 p.
First page 293
Last page 300