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Predicting local colonization and extinction dynamics from coarser-scale surveys

Summary: Predicting local colonization and extinction dynamics from
coarser-scale surveys
Jennifer Moody-Weis, Janis Antonovics, Helen M. Alexander and Diana Pilson
J. Moody-Weis (moody-weisj@william.jewell.edu) and H. M. Alexander, Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Kansas, 1200
Sunnyside Ave, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA. (Present address of J. M.-W.: 500 College Hill, Campus Box 1059, William Jewell College, Liberty,
MO 64068, USA.) J. Antonovics, Dept of Biology, Gilmer Hall, Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22905, USA. D. Pilson, School of
Biological Sciences, Univ. of Nebraska, Manter Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0118, USA.
The demand for methods to translate information between spatial scales (i.e. size of observational units and the total area
of study) has intensified given increased recognition that empirical data collection and practical applications occur at
scales ranging from individual organisms to landscapes. For example, there has been considerable interest in ``scaling-
down'' methods that have been successful at predicting fine-scale species' distributions from coarse-scale distributional
maps. Here, we describe the application of scaling-down methods to the estimation of colonization and extinction rates in
metapopulations using long-term, large-scale data sets of two roadside plant species, Helianthus annuus and Silene
latifolia. Fine-scale data collected from roadside populations were aggregated to generate data at several increasingly
coarse scales. The relationships between occupancy, colonization, or extinction and the scale of measurement (scale-
curves) were determined using the standard ``fully-nested'' method and the ``stratified random sampling'' method. Both
methods were successful at predicting not only occupancy, but also the dynamic metapopulation processes of extinction
and colonization (R2
values, averaged across species and methods, were 88.5, 69.3, and 88.8%, respectively, for
occupancy, extinction, and colonization). Scaling-down generated more accurate predictions in Helianthus (average R2


Source: Antonovics, Janis - Department of Biology, University of Virginia


Collections: Biology and Medicine