Most applied metapopulation studies have focused on habitat structures that are the result of landscape fragmentation but few have studied the dynamics in newly created patches. In artificial habitats, factors determining habitat quality can become especially relevant. Here, we studied the dynamics of linked populations of the little grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis inhabiting a group of irrigation ponds, sited and designed purely for agricultural purposes. We used five years of detection/nondetection data to parametrise incidence function models, in order to analyse the metapopulation dynamics of the species. We aimed to detect the role of pond size, isolation and intrinsic pond characteristics related to the habitat quality (i.e. pond construction design) in determining pond colonisation, extinction and turnover rates. We also used repeated surveys during one year to calculate detection probability of the species in the system. The incidence function model used accurately predicted the proportion of irrigation ponds occupied and detection probability was high (0.88). Little grebes inhabiting the irrigation ponds performed as a metapopulation with extinction events related to pond size and colonisation events related to pond construction design but unaffected by isolation factors. Our simulations highlight the importance of pond construction design in the persistence of the metapopulation and show a simple method for studying the dynamics of a population using detection/non-detection data.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.