DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICAL AND STATISTICAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA

PIMS-MITACS MATHEMATICAL BIOLOGY SEMINAR


MONDAY, March 7, 2005
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
CAB 657

Mr. José Candelaria
Department of Mathematics
University of Iowa

Construction and analysis of two habitat specific dispersal models

In recent years ecologists have emphasized the importance of determining the spatial and ecological conditions affecting dispersal patterns, especially in fragmented habitats. For my thesis work, I have constructed two spatially explicit dispersal models and used them to study the dispersal of movement of a monophagous prairie beetle on a
fragmented prairie habitat in East-central, Iowa. The first model is a walking algorithm incorporating novel parameters in landscape ecology and metapopulaton biology such as scanning and assessing quality of the landscape as a component of the movement decision (foray strategy), and adjusting the possible total distance moved on the basis of the quality of the landscape patches visited (stepping-stone strategy). The second model is an algorithm that computes the dispersal probabilities for the entire landscape, over a certain amount of time, for any given starting point. As with the first model, the second also takes into the ability to scan the landscape before moving and assess the quality of the landscape. Another parameter added to this model is a weight function which rescales the quality value of the cells according to their relative distance. These models support the results of empirical studies indicating that dispersal of beetles in fragmented landscapes is enhanced by use of stepping stones and foray searching strategies.