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Understanding how metapopulations persist in dynamic working landscapes requires assessing the behaviors of key actors that change patches as well as intrinsic factors driving turnover. Coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) research uses a multidisciplinary approach to identify the key actors, processes, and feedbacks that drive metapopulation and landscape dynamics. We describe a framework for modeling metapopulations in CHANS that integrates ecological and social data by coupling stochastic patch occupancy models of metapopulation dynamics with agent-based models of land-use change. We then apply this framework to metapopulations of the threatened black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) and widespread Virginia rail (Rallus limicola) that inhabit patchy, irrigation-fed wetlands in the rangelands of the California Sierra Nevada foothills. We collected data from five diverse sources (rail occupancy surveys, land-use change mapping, a survey of landowner decision-making, climate and reservoir databases, and mosquito trapping and West Nile virus testing) and integrated them into an agent-based stochastic patch occupancy model. We used the model to: (1) quantify the drivers of metapopulation dynamics, and the potential interactions and feedbacks among them; (2) test predictions of the behavior of metapopulations in dynamic working landscapes, and (3) evaluate the impact of three policy options on metapopulation persistence (irrigation district water cutbacks during drought, incentives for landowners to create wetlands, and incentives for landowners to protect wetlands). Complex metapopulation dynamics emerged when landscapes functioned as CHANS, highlighting the importance of integrating human activities and other ecological processes into metapopulation models. Rail metapopulations were strongly top-down regulated by precipitation, and the black rail's decade-long decline was caused by the combination of West Nile virus and drought. Theoretical predictions of the two metapopulations' responses to dynamic landscapes and incentive programs were complicated by heterogeneity in patch quality and CHANS couplings, respectively. Irrigation cutbacks during drought posed a serious extinction risk that neither incentive policy effectively ameliorated. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Statistical formulations or analyses which, when applied to data and found to fit the data, are then used to verify the assumptions and parameters used in the analysis. Examples of statistical models are the linear model, binomial model, polynomial model, two-parameter model, etc.
Ongoing collection, analysis, and interpretation of ecological data that is used to assess changes in the components, processes, and overall condition and functioning of an ECOSYSTEM.
Functions constructed from a statistical model and a set of observed data which give the probability of that data for various values of the unknown model parameters. Those parameter values that maximize the probability are the maximum likelihood estimates of the parameters.
Social media model for enabling public involvement and recruitment in participation. Use of social media to collect feedback and recruit volunteer subjects.
Predetermined sets of questions used to collect data - clinical data, social status, occupational group, etc. The term is often applied to a self-completed survey instrument.