12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Can occupancy patterns be used to predict distr...
View graph of relations

« Back

Can occupancy patterns be used to predict distributions in widely separated geographic regions?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date09/2006
JournalOecologia
Journal number3
Volume149
Number of pages10
Pages396-405
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Occupancy models, that describe the presence and absence patterns of a species in a given area, are increasingly being used to predict the occurrence of the species in unsurveyed sites, as an aid to conservation planning. In this paper, we consider whether conclusions about local distributions derived from one landscape can be extrapolated to others. We found that habitat patchiness influenced the distribution and abundance of the host-specific moth Wheeleria spilodactylus in a similar way in two landscapes widely separated geographically. In both geographic regions, the spatial location (positive effect of connectivity), and quantity of resource (positive effect of host plant density) increased the likelihood that the moth would be present, consistent with the expectations of metapopulation dynamics. Though some biological attributes of the species appeared to be slightly different, including population density and the timing of the life cycle (phenology), occupancy patterns in one landscape accurately predict occupancy in the other landscape. Our results suggest that it maybe possible to make predictions from one landscape to another, even when the landscapes are widely separated.