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SyrFitSources: Investigating virtual population dynamics of aphidophagous hoverflies in real landscapes with an agent-based model



Referent: Mario App ǀ Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut – Institut für Biodiversität

Ort: Online via Webex. Hier geht es zur Registrierung:


The decline of insect biomass is an important aspect of biodiversity loss. To identify the drivers of this loss, it is important to understand the factors affecting insect populations at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Spatially explicit models are a promising method to achieve this aim. Especially for hoverflies, a spatial life-cycle model considering the different food resources for both imagines and larvae is missing.            
We developed the agent-based model SyrFitSources for the aphidopahgous hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus in order to examine the effects of local habitat quality and landscape configuration on population dynamics. To enable fast computation of syrphid behavior on a daily basis over many years in landscapes covering some square kilometers, we simplified the landscape to resource patches connected in a habitat network. We estimated the amount and phenology of floral resources based on realistic lists of flowering plants for each habitat type and on the FloRes database containing data on nectar and pollen supply per plant species.             
We validated the models using a time series of field observations of E. balteatus abundance collected with three Malaise traps in each of 13 landscapes located in rural sites of Lower Franconia and Lower Bavaria, Germany, in summer 2011. SyrFitSources displays the virtual activity of E. balteatus at the level of resource patches, which allowed use to compare the observed and simulated abundances. In perspective, SyrFitSources enables virtual monitoring of hoverflies in real landscapes as well as in future landscape scenarios.


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