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Ecology. 2019 Oct;100(10):e02814. doi: 10.1002/ecy.2814. Epub 2019 Aug 14.

Estimation of metapopulation colonization rates from disturbance history and occurrence-pattern data.

Author information

1
Swedish Species Information Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7007, Uppsala, SE-75007, Sweden.
2
Independent Researcher, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

Occurrence patterns of many sessile species in dynamic landscapes are not in equilibrium due to their slow rates of metapopulation colonization and extinction. Colonization-extinction data enable the estimation of colonization rates for such species, but collecting the necessary data may require long waiting times between sampling years. Methods for estimating colonization rates of nonequilibrium metapopulations from single occurrence-pattern data have so far relied on additional data on patch ages and on past patch connectivities. We present an approach where metapopulation colonization rates are estimated from occurrence-pattern data and from disturbance history data that inform of past patch dynamics and that can be collected together with occurrence-pattern data. We estimated parameter values regulating patch and metapopulation dynamics by simulating patch network and metapopulation histories that result in present-like patch network configurations and metapopulation occurrence patterns. We tested our approach using occurrence-pattern data of the epiphytic lichen Lobaria pulmonaria in Fennoscandian forests, and fire-scar data that inform of the 400-yr history of fires and host tree dynamics in the same landscapes. The estimated model parameters were similar to estimates obtained using colonization-extinction data. The projected L. pulmonaria occupancy into the future also agreed with the respective projections that were made using the model estimated from colonization-extinction data. Our approach accelerates the estimation of metapopulation colonization rates for sessile species that are not in metapopulation equilibrium with the current landscape structure.

KEYWORDS:

approximate Bayesian computation; disturbance history; metapopulation dynamics; patch colonization rate; sessile species; snapshot data

PMID:
31290140
DOI:
10.1002/ecy.2814
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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