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Journal Article

Corridors as Conduits for Small Animals: Attainable Distances Depending on Movement Pattern, Boundary Reaction and Corridor Width

Lutz Tischendorf and Christian Wissel
Oikos
Vol. 79, No. 3 (Sep., 1997), pp. 603-611
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3546904
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3546904
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Corridors as Conduits for Small Animals: Attainable Distances Depending on Movement Pattern, Boundary Reaction and Corridor Width
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Abstract

Corridors are supposed to facilitate and conduct moving individuals between habitat remnants within an otherwise inhospitable landscape. Despite the scientific interest in corridors, their function as conduits is open to question. In this paper we present hypothetical answers to this question based on simulations of individual movements through corridors. Our generic modeling approach is individual-based and spatially explicit. The model is designed to simulate conceivable movements of small animals through line corridors with clear boundaries such as hedgerows. The parameters of the individual movements correspond with empirical data of tracking studies. We define the transition probability as the likelihood that moving individuals attain a distant target area within a certain period of time. We determine the transition probability based on distance frequency distributions. Our results show how the transition probability depends on the degree of movement autocorrelation, the returning angle at boundaries and the corridor width. In general, the transition probability is essentially determined by the degree of movement autocorrelation. The relative importance of both the returning angle at boundaries and the corridor width on the transition probability increases with higher degrees of movement autocorrelation. With increasing corridor width the transition probability increases asymptotically towards an upper level depending on movement velocity and time. Consequently, the corridor width has to be regarded as the main easily modified aspect for controlling transition probabilities. We use our findings to discuss the issue of an optimum corridor width. We take up the important effects of movement canalization within corridors and the way corridors influence both mortality en route and movement velocity. We compare the consequences of these effects on transition probabilities to situations without corridors in order to evaluate corridors in a more unbiased fashion.

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