Thursday, November 5, 2015
My paper entitled "Multi-scale connectivity and graph theory highlight critical areas for conservation under climate change" has been accepted in Ecological Applications pending a few minor revisions! The general idea of this paper is to combine measures of habitat connectivity at the rangewide-scale, metapopulation scale, and local scale to inform conservation decisions. We use a combination of graph theory, Circuitscape, and least-cost paths to analyze the effect of different renewable energy development scenarios and climate change scenarios on habitat connectivity of the Mohave ground squirrel. This paper follows from our earlier effort to map habitat suitability for Mohave ground squirrel:
Inman, R. D., Esque, T. C., Nussear, K. E., Leitner, P., Matocq, M. D., Weisberg, P. J., ... & Vandergast, A. G. (2013). Is there room for all of us? Renewable energy and Xerospermophilus mohavensis. Endangered Species Research, 20(1), 1-18.
as well as our earlier report to the California Energy Commission that included an analysis of climate change effects on habitat availability, landscape genetics, and a more limited analysis of renewable energy development scenarios titled "Habitat Modeling, Landscape Genetics, and Habitat Connectivity for the Mohave Ground Squirrel to Guide Renewable Energy Development" downloadable HERE .
In addition to demonstrating a multi-scale approach for assessing habitat connectivity and informing conservation decisions, the paper also presents a novel methodological contribution to make graph theory operational for species with continuously-distributed habitat.
Illustration by M. A. Walden