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Spatial patterns of population distribution in highly fragmented landscapes

Grant number: 19/25260-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Effective date (End): January 17, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - General Physics
Principal researcher:Roberto André Kraenkel
Grantee:Vítor de Oliveira Sudbrack
Supervisor abroad: Cristobal Lopez
Home Institution: Instituto de Física Teórica (IFT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:18/23984-0 - Population dynamics in highly fragmented regions, BP.MS

Abstract

This project will study the spatial patterns of population distribution emergent from the properties of habitat distribution in highly fragmented landscapes. This study is important as it shall give us insights on the right spatial scales to measure fragmentation metrics and on how to better understand the species perception of the landscape. Hence, we use a mathematical model based on two reaction-diffusion equations defined in two different regions: habitat patches, and matrix, which together compose the landscape. We propose to explore the scales of the problem using functional landscapes, i.e., landscapes defined on population distribution at the stationary regime through a discretizing method. We can measure and correlate fragmentation metrics in different refinement scales in order to obtain which scales of habitat landscape best reflect the functional landscape. Also, it will be possible to define networks of patches, weighing correctly the connections between patches based on the physical landscape. Then, we can use clustering algorithms to reduce a network of habitat patches to a network of functional patches. The usage of network theory applied to landscape ecology opens interesting questions and possibilities, e.g., new functional fragmentation metrics and applications such as plague control. These results will be incorporated in the Master thesis, further expanding and improving ours results and conclusions. Finally, these studies would represent significant steps towards the connection of geographical and ecological descriptions of landscape - the central issue of landscape ecology. (AU)