RangeShifter 2.0: An extended and enhanced platform for modelling spatial eco-evolutionary dynamics and species’ responses to environmental changes

Greta Bocedi* (Corresponding Author), Steven Palmer, Anne-Kathleen Malchow, Damaris Zurell, Kevin Watts, Justin Travis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Process-based models are becoming increasingly used tools for understanding how species are likely to respond to environmental changes and to potential management options. RangeShifter is one such modelling platform, which has been used to address a range of questions including identifying effective reintroduction strategies, understanding patterns of range expansion and assessing population viability of species across complex landscapes. Here we introduce a new version, RangeShifter 2.0, which incorporates important new functionality. It is now possible to simulate dynamics over user-specified, temporally changing landscapes. Additionally, we integrated a new genetic module, notably introducing an explicit genetic modelling architecture, which allows for simulation of neutral and adaptive genetic processes. Furthermore, emigration, transfer and settlement traits can now all evolve, allowing for sophisticated simulation of the evolution of dispersal. We illustrate the potential application of RangeShifter 2.0's new functionality by two examples. The first illustrates the range expansion of a virtual species across a dynamically changing UK landscape. The second demonstrates how the software can be used to explore the concept of evolving connectivity in response to land-use modification, by examining how movement rules come under selection over landscapes of different structure and composition. RangeShifter 2.0 is built using object-oriented C++ providing computationally efficient simulation of complex individual-based, eco-evolutionary models. The code has been redeveloped to enable use across operating systems, including on high performance computing clusters, and the Windows graphical user interface has been enhanced. RangeShifter 2.0 will facilitate the development of in-silico assessments of how species will respond to environmental changes and to potential management options for conserving or controlling them. By making the code available open source, we hope to inspire further collaborations and extensions by the ecological community.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalEcography
Early online date29 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • animal movement
  • connectivity
  • distribution modelling
  • dynamic landscapes
  • individual-based modelling
  • population viability
  • process based modelling

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