NCEAS Product 6700

Bascompte, Jordi. 2001. Aggregate statistical measures and metapopulation dynamics. Journal of Theoretical Biology. Vol: 209. Pages 373-379. (Abstract) (Online version)


There are two main types of metapopulation models. Spatially implicit models are analytically tractable but neglect spatial heterogeneities. Spatially explicit models are more realistic but too complex. In this paper, I build a bridge between both approximations. I derive a new metapopulation model using a well-known technique in population genetics. Spatial heterogeneities are captured by an aggregate statistical measure of spatial correlation. When this correlation is zero, i.e., space is homogeneous, the model becomes the well-known Levins' model. As spatial correlation increases, equilibrium patch occupancy decreases from what would be expected under the spatially homogeneous assumption. I proceed by testing how well spatial complexities from a spatially explicit simulation can be encapsulated by such an aggregate statistical measure.