Research brings habitat models into the future

Mar 23, 2011

Time marches on, and thanks to Michigan State University research, models of wildlife habitat now can monitor changes over time more accurately and more easily.

"Monitoring and projecting future changes are essential for sustainable management of coupled human and natural systems, including wildlife habitat," said Jianguo "Jack" Liu, Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability at MSU. "Innovative computer models are urgently needed for effective monitoring and projection."

Mao-Ning Tuanmu, doctoral student in MSU's Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, and his colleagues combine habitat modeling and , then gain the ability to use one model to monitor various changes over time. Their work, "Temporal transferability of wildlife habitat models: implications for habitat monitoring," is published online in the Journal of Biogeography.

Tuanmu focused on panda habitat in Wolong Nature Reserve in southwestern China as part of an ongoing interdisciplinary effort to understand changes in the home of the , including the effects of human activities, land use/cover changes and implementation of conservation programs.

Models of habitat that portray information such as sources of food and are important tools. The trick has been to take these detailed models and expand them to help monitor changes over time.

"We built an integrated model at one point in time and then used that same model over different time periods," Tuanmu said. "We need more models like this one with good transferability to monitor short-term and project long-term changes in species distribution and quality."

Explore further: Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Most panda habitat is outside nature reserves: research

Jul 28, 2010

Though much effort and many resources have been expended to protect the endangered giant panda, research by an international team of scientists shows that much suitable panda habitat is outside the nature reserves and areas ...

To catch a panda

Dec 10, 2007

Michigan State University’s panda habitat research team has spent years collecting mountains of data aimed at understanding and saving giant pandas. Now a graduate student is working to catch crucial data that’s black, ...

Recommended for you

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

Sep 19, 2014

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

Asian stars enlisted to fight African rhino poaching

Sep 19, 2014

Increasingly desperate South African conversationists are turning to a multi-national team of "rhino ambassadors" to try to end the scourge of poaching—and Vietnamese pop diva Hong Nhung has been recruited ...

Tropical fish a threat to Mediterranean Sea ecosystems

Sep 18, 2014

The tropical rabbitfish which have devastated algal forests in the eastern Mediterranean Sea pose a major threat to the entire Mediterranean basin if their distribution continues to expand as the climate ...

User comments : 0