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      USING CIRCUIT THEORY TO MODEL CONNECTIVITY IN ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION, AND CONSERVATION

      , , ,

      Ecology

      Wiley

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          Most cited references 28

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          The matrix matters: effective isolation in fragmented landscapes.

           T Ricketts (2001)
          Traditional approaches to the study of fragmented landscapes invoke an island-ocean model and assume that the nonhabitat matrix surrounding remnant patches is uniform. Patch isolation, a crucial parameter to the predictions of island biogeography and metapopulation theories, is measured by distance alone. To test whether the type of interpatch matrix can contribute significantly to patch isolation, I conducted a mark-recapture study on a butterfly community inhabiting meadows in a naturally patchy landscape. I used maximum likelihood to estimate the relative resistances of the two major matrix types (willow thicket and conifer forest) to butterfly movement between meadow patches. For four of the six butterfly taxa (subfamilies or tribes) studied, conifer was 3-12 times more resistant than willow. For the two remaining taxa (the most vagile and least vagile in the community), resistance estimates for willow and conifer were not significantly different, indicating that responses to matrix differ even among closely related species. These results suggest that the surrounding matrix can significantly influence the "effective isolation" of habitat patches, rendering them more or less isolated than simple distance or classic models would indicate. Modification of the matrix may provide opportunities for reducing patch isolation and thus the extinction risk of populations in fragmented landscapes.
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            Isolation by resistance.

             Brad McRae (2006)
            Despite growing interest in the effects of landscape heterogeneity on genetic structuring, few tools are available to incorporate data on landscape composition into population genetic studies. Analyses of isolation by distance have typically either assumed spatial homogeneity for convenience or applied theoretically unjustified distance metrics to compensate for heterogeneity. Here I propose the isolation-by-resistance (IBR) model as an alternative for predicting equilibrium genetic structuring in complex landscapes. The model predicts a positive relationship between genetic differentiation and the resistance distance, a distance metric that exploits precise relationships between random walk times and effective resistances in electronic networks. As a predictor of genetic differentiation, the resistance distance is both more theoretically justified and more robust to spatial heterogeneity than Euclidean or least cost path-based distance measures. Moreover, the metric can be applied with a wide range of data inputs, including coarse-scale range maps, simple maps of habitat and nonhabitat within a species' range, or complex spatial datasets with habitats and barriers of differing qualities. The IBR model thus provides a flexible and efficient tool to account for habitat heterogeneity in studies of isolation by distance, improve understanding of how landscape characteristics affect genetic structuring, and predict genetic and evolutionary consequences of landscape change.
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              The application of ‘least-cost’ modelling as a functional landscape model

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ecology
                Ecology
                Wiley
                0012-9658
                October 2008
                October 2008
                : 89
                : 10
                : 2712-2724
                Article
                10.1890/07-1861.1
                © 2008
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://doi.wiley.com/10.1890/07-1861.1

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