Professor of Biology and Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences
Penn State University
This study will develop spatial integral projection models (IPMs) for six species: two invasive species, two common species, and two endangered species. IPMs are discrete-time, analytical representations of the dynamics of populations. IPMs allow the analytic representation of individual variation, and so represent a significant improvement over existing methods. This study proposes a novel extension of IPMs into the spatial domain, using state-of-the-art approaches to model spatial spread of invasive and endangered species. Such sophistication will be vital for comprehensive analyses of environmental changes that affect population decline, growth or spread through multiple components of species' life cycles, and for analyses of complex interactions between different management options. The proposed research has important control and conservation implications. The models can be used to address the optimal management strategies for each species, and to separately target approaches that will enhance outcomes for local vs. spatially-extensive management priorities in the face of limited resources. These species exhibit a wide range of life histories, and the models developed will also serve as useful templates for researchers working with a wide range of other species.