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1. Metapopulation models include spatial population dynamics such as dispersion and migration between subpopulations. Integral projection models (IPMs) can include demographic rates as a function of size. Traditionally, metapopulation models do not included detailed populaiton models such as IPMs. In some situations, both local population dynamics (e.g. size-based survival) and spatial dynamics are important.
2. We present a Python package, MetaIPM, which places IPMs into a metapopulation framework, and allow users to readily construct and apply these models that combine local population dynamics within a metapopulation framework. 3. MetaIPM includes an IPM for each subpopulation that is connected to other subpopulations via a metapopulation movement model. These movements can include dispersion, migration or other patterns. The IPM can include for size-specific demographic rates (e.g. survival, recruitment) as well as management actions, such as length-based harvest (e.g. gear specific capture sizes, varying slot limits across political boundaries). The model also allows for changes in metapopulation connectivity between locations, such as a fish passage ladders to enhance movement or deterrents to reduce movement. Thus, resource managers can use MetaIPM to compare different management actions such as the harvest gear type (which can be length-specific) and harvest locations.
4. We demonstrate how MetaIPM may be applied to inform managers seeking to limit the spread of an invasive species in a system with important metapopulation dynamics. Specifically, we compared removal lengths (all length fish versus longer fish only) for an invasive fish population in a fragmented, inland river system. MetaIPM allowed users to compare the importance of harvesting source populations away from the invasion front, as well as species at the invasion front. The model would also allow for future comparisons of different deterrent placement locations in the system.
5. Moving beyond our example system, we describe how MetaIPM can be applied to other species, systems and management approaches. The MetaIPM packages includes Jupyter Notebooks documenting the package as well as a second set of JupyterNotebooks showing the application of the package to our example system.
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
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This article has been contributed to by U.S. Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Erickson, R. A., Peirce, J. P., Sandland, G. J., Thompson, H. M., Coulter, A. A., & Glover, D. C. (2023). MetaIPM: Placing integral projection models into a metapopulation framework. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 00, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.14156