The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Evaluating least-cost model predictions with empirical dispersal data: a case-study using radiotracking data of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus)

Record type: Article

Habitat fragmentation and habitat loss are widely recognized as major threats to biodiversity on a regional as well as on a global scale. To restrict its effects, ecological networks such as the trans-European network NATURA2000 are being developed based on the assumption that structural connections between habitat fragments lead to increased exchange through dispersal and a higher viability of (meta)populations. However, there is a great need for techniques that translate these networks and/or structural characteristics of landscapes into functional connectivity for specific organisms. Least-cost analysis has the capacities to fulfil these needs, but has never been validated against actual observations of dispersal paths. Here we present a method to validate the results of a least-cost analysis by comparing realized movement paths of hedgehogs in unfamiliar areas, obtained by radiotracking, with statistics on landscape-wide distribution of cost values. The degree of correspondence between empirical dispersal paths and the output of a least-cost analysis can be visualized and quantified, and least-cost scenarios can be statistically compared. We show that hedgehogs moved along paths with significantly lower cost values than the average landscape, implying that they took better than random routes, but performance was relatively poor. We attribute this to the relatively generalist habitat use of the model species and the rather homogeneous landscapes. We conclude that this approach can be useful for further validation of the least-cost model and allows a direct comparison of model performance among different taxa and/or landscapes.

PDF Driezenetal2007EcolModel.pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (616kB)

Citation

Driezen, Kassandra, Adriaensen, Frank, Rondinini, Carlo, Doncaster, C. Patrick and Matthysen, Erik (2007) Evaluating least-cost model predictions with empirical dispersal data: a case-study using radiotracking data of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) Ecological Modelling, 209, (2-4), pp. 314-322. (doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2007.07.002).

More information

Published date: 16 December 2007
Keywords: least-cost model, dispersal path, cost-distance, connectivity, erinaceus europaeus

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 49502
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/49502
ISSN: 0304-3800
PURE UUID: 42f75a58-6623-4679-95f9-3e795c1d3b0c
ORCID for C. Patrick Doncaster: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9406-0693

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Nov 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:56

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Kassandra Driezen
Author: Frank Adriaensen
Author: Carlo Rondinini
Author: Erik Matthysen

University divisions


Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×