The Influence of Behavior on Active Subsidy Distribution
This dissertation investigates the influence of spatially explicit animal behavior active subsidy distribution patterns. Active subsidies are animal-transported consumption and resources transfers from donor to recipient ecosystems. Active subsidies influence ecosystem structure, function and services in recipient ecosystems. Even though active subsidies affect ecosystem dynamics, most ecosystem models consider the influence of spatially-explicit animal behavior on active subsidy distributions, limiting the ability to predict corresponding spatial impacts across ecosystems. Spatial subsidy research documents the need for systematic models and analyses frameworks to provide generally insights into the relationship between animal space use behavior and active subsidy patterns, and advance knowledge of corresponding ecosystem impacts for a variety of taxa and ecological scenarios.
To advance spatial subsidy research, this dissertation employs a combined individual-based and movement ecology approach in abstract modeling frameworks to systematically investigate the influence of 1) animal movement behavior given mortality (chapter 2), 2) animal sociality (chapter 3) and 3) landscape heterogeneity (chapter 4) on active subsidy distribution. This dissertation shows that animal movement behavior, sociality and landscape heterogeneity influence the extent and intensity of active distribution and impacts in recipient ecosystems. Insights from this dissertation demonstrate that accounting for these factors in the development of ecosystem models will consequentially enhance their utility for predicting active subsidy spatial patterns and impacts. This dissertation advances spatial subsidy research by providing a road map for developing a comprehensive, unifying framework of the relationship between animal behavior and active subsidy distributions.