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Appropriate resolution in time and model structure for population viability analysis: Insights from a butterfly metapopulation

  • The importance of a careful choice of the appropriate scale for studying ecological phenomena has been stressed repeatedly. However, issues of spatial scale in metapopulation dynamics received much more attention compared to temporal scale. Moreover, multiple calls were made to carefully choose the appropriate model structure for Population Viability Analysis (PVA). We assessed the effect of using coarser resolution in time and model structure on population dynamics. For this purpose, we compared outcomes of two PVA models differing in their time step: daily individual-based model (dIBM) and yearly stage-based model (ySBM), loaded with empirical data on a well-known metapopulation of the butterfly Boloria eunomia. Both models included the same environmental drivers of population dynamics that were previously identified as being the most important for this species. Under temperature change scenarios, both models yielded the same qualitative scenario ranking, but they quite substantially differed quantitatively with dIBM being moreThe importance of a careful choice of the appropriate scale for studying ecological phenomena has been stressed repeatedly. However, issues of spatial scale in metapopulation dynamics received much more attention compared to temporal scale. Moreover, multiple calls were made to carefully choose the appropriate model structure for Population Viability Analysis (PVA). We assessed the effect of using coarser resolution in time and model structure on population dynamics. For this purpose, we compared outcomes of two PVA models differing in their time step: daily individual-based model (dIBM) and yearly stage-based model (ySBM), loaded with empirical data on a well-known metapopulation of the butterfly Boloria eunomia. Both models included the same environmental drivers of population dynamics that were previously identified as being the most important for this species. Under temperature change scenarios, both models yielded the same qualitative scenario ranking, but they quite substantially differed quantitatively with dIBM being more pessimistic in absolute viability measures. We showed that these differences stemmed from inter-individual heterogeneity in dIBM allowing for phenological shifts of individual appearance. We conclude that a finer temporal resolution and an individual-based model structure allow capturing the essential mechanisms necessary to go beyond mere PVA scenario ranking. We encourage researchers to carefully chose the temporal resolution and structure of their model aiming at (1) depicting the processes important for (meta)population dynamics of the species and (2) implementing the environmental change scenarios expected for their study system in the future, using the temporal resolution at which such changes are predicted to operate.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Viktoriia Radchuk, Karin Johst, Jürgen Groeneveld, Camille Turlure, Volker Grimm, Nicolas Schtickzelle
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2013.12.004
ISSN:0006-3207 (print)
ISSN:1873-2917 (online)
Parent Title (English):: an international journal
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:Oxford
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2014
Year of Completion:2014
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:Individual-based model; Model comparison; Model complexity; Population dynamics; Stage-based model; Temporal grain
Volume:169
Pagenumber:10
First Page:345
Last Page:354
Funder:FRIA fund; FNRS; F.R.S.-FNRS
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert