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An allometric model of home range formation explains the structuring of animal communities exploiting heterogeneous resources

  • Understanding and predicting the composition and spatial structure of communities is a central challenge in ecology. An important structural property of animal communities is the distribution of individual home ranges. Home range formation is controlled by resource heterogeneity, the physiology and behaviour of individual animals, and their intra- and interspecific interactions. However, a quantitative mechanistic understanding of how home range formation influences community composition is still lacking. To explore the link between home range formation and community composition in heterogeneous landscapes we combine allometric relationships for physiological properties with an algorithm that selects optimal home ranges given locomotion costs, resource depletion and competition in a spatially-explicit individual-based modelling framework. From a spatial distribution of resources and an input distribution of animal body mass, our model predicts the size and location of individual home ranges as well as the individual size distributionUnderstanding and predicting the composition and spatial structure of communities is a central challenge in ecology. An important structural property of animal communities is the distribution of individual home ranges. Home range formation is controlled by resource heterogeneity, the physiology and behaviour of individual animals, and their intra- and interspecific interactions. However, a quantitative mechanistic understanding of how home range formation influences community composition is still lacking. To explore the link between home range formation and community composition in heterogeneous landscapes we combine allometric relationships for physiological properties with an algorithm that selects optimal home ranges given locomotion costs, resource depletion and competition in a spatially-explicit individual-based modelling framework. From a spatial distribution of resources and an input distribution of animal body mass, our model predicts the size and location of individual home ranges as well as the individual size distribution (ISD) in an animal community. For a broad range of body mass input distributions, including empirical body mass distributions of North American and Australian mammals, our model predictions agree with independent data on the body mass scaling of home range size and individual abundance in terrestrial mammals. Model predictions are also robust against variation in habitat productivity and landscape heterogeneity. The combination of allometric relationships for locomotion costs and resource needs with resource competition in an optimal foraging framework enables us to scale from individual properties to the structure of animal communities in heterogeneous landscapes. The proposed spatially-explicit modelling concept not only allows for detailed investigation of landscape effects on animal communities, but also provides novel insights into the mechanisms by which resource competition in space shapes animal communities.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Carsten M. Buchmann, Frank Martin SchurrGND, Ran Nathan, Florian JeltschORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2010.18556.x
ISSN:0030-1299
Parent Title (English):Oikos
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication:Malden
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2011
Year of Completion:2011
Release Date:2017/03/26
Volume:120
Issue:1
Page Number:13
First Page:106
Last Page:118
Funder:Graduate Initiative on Ecological Modelling of the Univ. of Potsdam; European Union [MTKD-CT-2006-042261]; Humboldt Foundation; Israel Science Foundation [ISF-FIRST 1316/05]; US-Israel Binational Science Foundation [BSF 124/2004]; Inst. for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert