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Evaluating population-habitat models using ecological theoryAuthor(s): Curtis H. Flather; Thomas W. Hoekstra
Source: Wildlife Society Bulletin. 13(2): 121-130.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionPassage of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act (P.L. 93-378) (RPA), as amended by the National Forest Management Act (P.L. 94-588), requires the U.S.D.A., Forest Service (FS) to develop and conduct periodic national assessments of renewable natural resources on forests and rangelands. Such assessments report the current and expected status of natural resources, and propose alternative opportunities with associated ecological, economic, and social impacts (Hoekstra et al. 1979). The appraisals of wildlife resources require the ability to forecast consequences of human-induced environmental changes accurately, relative to both national and forest-level management planning. Models relating wildlife populations to habitat have been developed. The FS must develop, modify, and recommend assessment methods for wildlife, and needs a basis for evaluating these methods. A synthesis of existing ecological knowledge and theory into a framework for evaluating these models can function as that basis. In terms of FS assessment goals, a synthesis should expediently identify ecological weaknesses and limitations in models and provide a mechanism for proposing recommendations and research hypotheses. Accordingly, this paper reviews and organizes ecological theory relevant to predicting changes in wildlife populations (see Flather 1982), and illustrates the utility of this framework in a case example by evaluating the Pattern Recognition Method (PATREC) (Williams et al. 1977). Specifically, we define reasons for selecting PATREC, describe the method, review ecological theory, and evaluate PATREC's use.
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CitationFlather, Curtis H.; Hoekstra, Thomas W. 1985. Evaluating population-habitat models using ecological theory. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 13(2): 121-130.
Keywordshabitat, wildlife populations, models
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