Habitat Selection, Availability, and Needs Projects
Understanding habitat selection is one of the keys to predicting species distributions and forecasting responses to environmental change. However, our research on a select number of candidate species has shown that habitat selection differs across their range (e.g., Crosby et al. 2019). BAM is exploring the causes of differential habitat selection and then accounting for it in population estimation, distribution modelling, and ecological forecasting. Models that explicitly link habitat selection to bird population dynamics may greatly aid in ecological forecasting and conservation planning. Establishing this link requires a more mechanistic approach to habitat modeling; one that incorporates BAM’s current work on the causes of differential habitat election (e.g. density dependence and functional responses to availability) into habitat-based population models.
Crosby, A.D., Bayne, E.M., Cumming, S.G., Schmiegelow, F.K.A., Dénes, F.V., Tremblay, J.A., 2019. Differential habitat selection in boreal songbirds influences estimates of population size and distribution. Divers Distrib 25, 1941–1953. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12991