EcoScience Abstract

Haydon, D. T. and E. R. Pianka. 1999. Metapopulation theory, landscape models, and species diversity. EcoScience 6: 316-328. Abstract, Download pdf


Daniel T. Haydon 1 and Eric R. Pianka 2

1. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, 6270 University Blvd., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z4 (fax.(604) 822 2416, tel.: (604) 822 5937, e-mail:

2. Department of Zoology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712-1064

Abstract. We construct a model that describes the interaction of multiple metapopulation processes with measures of landscape patch diversity, fragmentary grain, and patch availability. Landscape models corresponding to Voronoi tessellations formulated around two-dimensional point processes are suggested as alternatives to conventional neutral landscape models. A method for creating the configuration of suitable habitat composed of multiple types of patches in randomized landscapes is suggested that utilizes perimeter polynomials associated with classical percolation theory. The landscape models are used to examine the influence of patch diversity, landscape grain, and total habitat availability on two measures of species performance that can be predicted from conventional metapopulation theory: the expected fraction of patches occupied by a species in the landscape (conditional prevalence), and the probability that a species will be represented in the landscape (representation). Results suggest that even when considering mutually non-interactive multiple metapopulation processes, the influence of landscape structure on species prevalence and representation depends in a complicated way on a combination of both species parameters and landscape parameters. Significantly, effects of changes in landscape structure on the distribution of a species cannot be anticipated from its pre-disturbance distribution. Our theory predicts that regional species diversity is maximized at intermediate levels of patch type diversity and fragmentation.

Keywords: Landscape models, multi-species metapopulations, habitat mosaics, Voronoi tessellations