Insights for managers from modeling species interactions across multiple scales in an idealized landscape


In recent years there has been a shift in biodiversity efforts from protected areas to one of interlinked habitat patches across multiple land tenure types. Much work remains on how managers can intervene in such systems to achieve basic goals. We use an agent-based model of a metapopulation with predator-prey dynamics and density-dependent migration to examine theoretically the capacity of a manager to modify the ecosystem to achieve conservation goals. We explore management strategies aimed at maintaining one of two goals - local or global coexistence of species. To achieve their goal, the manager varies the connectivity between patches based on one of three strategies - the monitoring of predator, prey, or the vegetation carrying capacity of the patches. We find that strategies that lead to highest coexistence monitor mid-tier populations globally. Our goal is to use our model results to advance decision-making in conservation beyond protected areas, typical in today’s conservation. ?? 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Environmental Modelling & Software