Using complex network metrics to predict the persistence of metapopulations with asymmetric connectivity patterns

Bode, M., Burrage, K. and Possingham, H.P. (2008) Using complex network metrics to predict the persistence of metapopulations with asymmetric connectivity patterns. Ecological Modelling, 214 2-4: 201-209. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2008.02.040


Author Bode, M.
Burrage, K.
Possingham, H.P.
Title Using complex network metrics to predict the persistence of metapopulations with asymmetric connectivity patterns
Journal name Ecological Modelling   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0304-3800
Publication date 2008-06-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2008.02.040
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 214
Issue 2-4
Start page 201
End page 209
Total pages 9
Place of publication Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Subject C1
960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Abstract Almost all metapopulation modelling assumes that connectivity between patches is only a function of distance, and is therefore symmetric. However, connectivity will not depend only on the distance between the patches, as some paths are easy to traverse, while others are difficult. When colonising organisms interact with the heterogeneous landscape between patches, connectivity patterns will invariably be asymmetric. There have been few attempts to theoretically assess the effects of asymmetric connectivity patterns on the dynamics of metapopulations. In this paper, we use the framework of complex networks to investigate whether metapopulation dynamics can be determined by directly analysing the asymmetric connectivity patterns that link the patches. Our analyses focus on “patch occupancy” metapopulation models, which only consider whether a patch is occupied or not. We propose three easily calculated network metrics: the “asymmetry” and “average path strength” of the connectivity pattern, and the “centrality” of each patch. Together, these metrics can be used to predict the length of time a metapopulation is expected to persist, and the relative contribution of each patch to a metapopulation’s viability. Our results clearly demonstrate the negative effect that asymmetry has on metapopulation persistence. Complex network analyses represent a useful new tool for understanding the dynamics of species existing in fragmented landscapes, particularly those existing in large metapopulations.
Keyword Complex networks
Metapopulations
Asymmetric connectivity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Apr 2009, 03:11:51 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences