Virtual corridors for conservation management

Guy Pe'er, David Saltz, Karin Frank

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Corridors are usually perceived as clearly visible, linear landscape elements embedded in a hostile environment that connect two or more larger blocks of habitat. Animal response to certain aspects of landscape heterogeneity, however, can channel their movements into specific routes that may appear similar to their surroundings. These routes can be described as "virtual corridors" (VCs). Here we contribute to the foundation of the concept of VCs and highlight their implications for conservation management. We used an individual-based model to analyze the formation of VCs in the case of hilltopping in butterflies-where males and virgin females ascend to hilltops and mate. We simulated butterfly movements in two different topographically heterogeneous landscapes. We analyzed the movement patterns with respect to one parameter, the intensity of response to topography. Virtual corridor structure depended on the behavioral parameter, landscape, and location of the source patch. Within a realistic range of the behavioral parameter and in a realistic landscape, VC structures may be complex and require individual-based models for their elucidation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1997-2003
    Number of pages7
    JournalConservation Biology
    Volume19
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Dec 2005

    Keywords

    • Habitat gradients
    • Hilltopping
    • Individual-based model
    • Landscape heterogeneity
    • Landscape management
    • Nonrandom dispersal
    • Topography

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Ecology
    • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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