Metapopulation extinction risk under spatially autocorrelated disturbance

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Metapopulation extinction risk under spatially autocorrelated disturbance (EN)

Kallimanis, A. S. (EN)

Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Σχολή Επιστημών και Τεχνολογιών. Τμήμα Βιολογικών Εφαρμογών και Τεχνολογιών (EL)
Kallimanis, A. S. (EN)

Recent extinction models generally show that spatial aggregation of habitat reduces overall extinction risk because sites emptied by local extinction are more rapidly recolonized. We extended such an investigation to include spatial structure in the disturbance regime. A spatially explicit metapopulation model was developed with a wide range of dispersal distances. The degree of aggregation of both habitat and disturbance pattern could be varied from a random distribution, through the intermediate case of a fractal distribution, all the way to complete aggregation (single block). Increasing spatial aggregation of disturbance generally increased extinction risk. The relative risk faced by populations in different landscapes varied greatly, depending on the disturbance regime. With random disturbance, the spatial aggregation of habitat reduced extinction risk, as in earlier studies. Where disturbance was spatially autocorrelated, however, this advantage was eliminated or reversed because populations in aggregated habitats are at risk of mass extinction from coarse-scale disturbance events. The effects of spatial patterns on extinction risk tended to be reduced by long-distance dispersal. Given the high levels of spatial correlation in natural and anthropogenic disturbance processes, population vulnerability may be greatly underestimated both by classical (nonspatial) models and by those that consider spatial structure in habitat alone. (EN)

extinction threshold (EN)

Conservation Biology (EN)



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