Patch occupancy dynamics and dispersal processes

A part from survival, the monitoring of individuals or populations across space and time can also provide the necessary information to study large-scale processes such as individual movement (i.e. dispersal and settlement processes) and population turnover (i.e. local extincion and colonization dynamics).

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Flock of Audouin’s gull, Ebro Delta (Catalonia)

Large-scale monitoring programs require coordination and collaboration among researchers and institutions in order to succesfully gather spatial and temporal information on many individuals and populations. The analysis of this information also requires complex analytical tools able to incorporate the spatial component found in the data, such as multi-site capture-recapture and site occupancy models.

 

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Butterfly at Montseny Natural Park (Catalonia)

Due to their high mobility and occurrence in spatially structured populations, birds and butterflies are good biological models to study individual movement and population turnover. My research on these taxons has revealed the importance of local habitat features as predictors of dispersal and patch occupancy dynamics, thus providing useful knowledge for the future management of the species involved.

Related publications:

  • Fernández-Chacón A, Stefanescu C, Genovart M, Nichols JD, Hines JE, Páramo F, Turco M, Oro D. 2014. Determinants of extinction-colonization dynamics in Mediterranean butterflies: the role of landscape, climate and local habitat features. Journal of Animal Ecology 83: 276–285.
  • Fernández-Chacón A, Genovart M, Pradel R, Tavecchia G, Bertolero A, Piccardo J, Forero MG, Afán I, Muntaner J, Oro D. 2013. When to stay, when to disperse and where to go: survival and dispersal patterns in a spatially structured seabird population. Ecography 36:1117–1126.