The interpretation of habitat preference metrics under use-availability designs

Beyer, Hawthorne L., Haydon, Daniel T., Morales, Juan M., Frair, Jacqueline L., Hebblewhite, Mark, Mitchell, Michael and Matthiopoulos, Jason (2010) The interpretation of habitat preference metrics under use-availability designs. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365 1550: 2245-2254. doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0083


Author Beyer, Hawthorne L.
Haydon, Daniel T.
Morales, Juan M.
Frair, Jacqueline L.
Hebblewhite, Mark
Mitchell, Michael
Matthiopoulos, Jason
Title The interpretation of habitat preference metrics under use-availability designs
Journal name Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8436
1471-2970
Publication date 2010-07-27
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1098/rstb.2010.0083
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 365
Issue 1550
Start page 2245
End page 2254
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Models of habitat preference are widely used to quantify animal-habitat relationships, to describe and predict differential space use by animals, and to identify habitat that is important to an animal (i.e. that is assumed to influence fitness). Quantifying habitat preference involves the statistical comparison of samples of habitat use and availability. Preference is therefore contingent upon both of these samples. The inferences that can be made from use versus availability designs are influenced by subjectivity in defining what is available to the animal, the problem of quantifying the accessibility of available resources and the framework in which preference is modelled. Here, we describe these issues, document the conditional nature of preference and establish the limits of inferences that can be drawn from these analyses. We argue that preference is not interpretable as reflecting the intrinsic behavioural motivations of the animal, that estimates of preference are not directly comparable among different samples of availability and that preference is not necessarily correlated with the value of habitat to the animal. We also suggest that preference is context-dependent and that functional responses in preference resulting from changing availability are expected. We conclude by describing advances in analytical methods that begin to resolve these issues.
Keyword Functional response
Habitat preference
Movement
Resource selection
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 30 May 2014, 16:08:39 EST by Hawthorne Beyer on behalf of School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences