Modelling contagion of non-indigenous plant species at the landscape level: An example from the northern range of Yellowstone National Park.
Aspinall, Richard1, Rew, Lisa2, Maxwell, Bruce2, 1 University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ, USA2 Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA
ABSTRACT- This paper presents a spatially-explicit and temporally-dynamic modeling approach to project change in species distribution over space and time. Contagion and other dispersal processes are modeled with a cellular automaton and other geosimulation techniques. The approach is applied with a spatial representation of landscape that is based on a probability model describing environmental suitability for a species. Issues of landscape representation for use with dynamic models, design and implementation of spatially-explicit and temporally-dynamic models that reflect ecological processes, and utility of models in forecasting and scenario development in ecology are discussed. Non-indigenous plant species occupying the northern range of Yellowstone National Park are used to illustrate a) the potential of the approach, b) the space-time scaling issues that need to be addressed in modeling, and c) the value of dynamic spatially-explicit models for exploring possible future landscapes and species distributions.
Key words: plant dispersal, predictive modelling, non-native plant species, landscape ecology
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