A spatially-explicit model for the Allee effect: why wolves recolonize so slowly in Greater Yellowstone.
Hurford, Amy*,1, Hebblewhite, Mark1, Lewis, Mark1, 1 University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
ABSTRACT- Models for an Allee effect commonly assume reduced per capita growth rates when breeding group sizes are small or density is low (Allee dynamics). However, even in the absence of Allee dynamics, the inability of dispersers to find mates at low densities can diminish the rate new breeding pairs form. In this talk, we derive a new modeling framework to analyze the effect of disperser-driven pair formation on the formation of new packs for the reintroduced wolf population in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Allee effects in this model arise not at the pack or breeding group level, but rather are due to a reduced probability of establishing new breeding groups at low densities. Analysis of the model provides a quantitative relationship between population spread rate and dispersal, demographic and pair formation model parameters.
Key words: Allee effect, integrodifference equation, rate of spread, pair formation
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