Title

MOAB: a spatially explicit, individual-based expert system for creating animal foraging models

Authors

J Carter
JT Finn

Publication Date

1999

Journal or Book Title

ECOLOGICAL MODELLING

Abstract

We describe the development, structure, and corroboration process of a simulation model of animal behavior (MOAB). MOAB can create spatially explicit, individual-based animal foraging models. Users can create or replicate heterogeneous landscape patterns, and place resources and individual animals of a given species on that landscape to simultaneously simulate the foraging behavior of multiple species. The heuristic rules for animal behavior are maintained in a user-modifiable expert system. MOAB can be used to explore hypotheses concerning the influence of landscape pattern on animal movement and foraging behavior. A red fox (Vulpesvulpes L.) foraging and nest predation model was created to test MOAB’s capabilities. Foxes were simulated for 30-day periods using both expert system and random movement rules. Home range size, territory formation and other measures of movement were compared to data from field studies, the random movement simulations, and other available simulation studies. A striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis L.) model also was developed. The expert system model proved superior to stochastic in respect to territory formation, general movement patterns and home range size.

DOI

10.1016/S0304-3800(99)00044-7

Volume

119

Issue

1

Pages

29-41

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