Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.4 MB)

Title: Linking population viability, habitat suitability, and landscape simulation models for conservation planning

Author: Larson, Michael A.; Thompson, Frank R., III III; Millspaugh, Joshua J.; Dijak, William D.; Shifley, Stephen R.;

Date: 2004

Source: Ecological Modelling 180:103-118

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Methods for habitat modeling based on landscape simulations and population viability modeling based on habitat quality are well developed, but no published study of which we are aware has effectively joined them in a single, comprehensive analysis. We demonstrate the application of a population viability model for ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus) that is linked to realistic landscape simulations using a GIS-based habitat suitability index (HSI) model. We simulated potential future characteristics of a hardwood forest in southern Missouri under two tree harvest scenarios using LANDIS. We applied three different versions of the HSI model (lower, best, and upper estimates) to output from the landscape simulations and used RAMAS GIS to link estimates of temporally dynamic habitat suitability, through fecundity and carrying capacity, to ovenbird population viability. Abundances and viability differed more between the upper and lower HSI estimates than between the two forest management scenarios. The viability model was as sensitive to the relationship between reproductive success and habitat suitability as it was to rates of first-year survival and reproductive success itself. Habitat-based viability models and the wildlife studies they support, therefore, would benefit greatly from improving the accuracy and precision of habitat suitability estimates. Combining landscape, habitat, and viability models in a single analysis provides benefits beyond those of the individual modeling stages. A comprehensive modeling approach encompasses all components and processes of interest, allows direct comparison of the relative levels of uncertainty in each stage of modeling, and allows analysis of the economic benefits and costs of different land use plans, which may be affected by landscape management, habitat manipulation, and wildlife conservation efforts. Using population viability, habitat suitability, and landscape simulation models in an integrated analysis for conservation planning is an important advancement because habitat quality is a critical link between human land use decisions and wildlife population viability.

Keywords: Forest landscape, Habitat modeling, Habitat suitability index, Management decisions, Ovenbird, Population viability analysis, Seiurus aurocapillus, Stochastic simulation

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.



Larson, Michael A.; Thompson, Frank R., III; Millspaugh, Joshua J.; Dijak, William D.; Shifley, Stephen R. 2004. Linking population viability, habitat suitability, and landscape simulation models for conservation planning. Ecological Modelling 180:103-118


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.