Can habitat selection predict abundance?
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Original versionJournal of Animal Ecology 2015, 85(1):11-20 10.1111/1365-2656.12359
. Habitats have substantial inﬂuence on the distribut ion and abundance of animals. Ani- mals’ selective mo vement yields their habitat use. Animals generally are more abundant in habitats that are selected most strongly. 2. Models of habitat selection can be used to distribute animals on the landscape or their distribution can be modelled based on data of habitat use, occupancy, intensity of use or counts of animals. When the population is at carrying capacity or in an ideal-free distri- bution, habitat selection and related metrics of habitat use can be used to estimate abun- dance. 3. If the population is not at equilibrium, models have the ﬂexibility to incorporate density into models of habitat selection; but abundance might be inﬂuenced by factors inﬂuencing ﬁt- ness that are not directly related to habitat thereby compromising the use of habitat-based models for predicting population size. 4. Scale and domain of the sampling fram e, both in time and space, are crucial consider- ations limiting application of these models. Ultimately, identifying reliable models for predict- ing abundance from habitat data requires an understanding of the mechanisms underlying population regulation and limitation. animal movement, occupancy, population estimation, population size, presence- only data, resource selection functions