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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R36H4CS27

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Sequential decision-making in a variable environment: modeling elk movement in Yellowstone National Park as a dynamic game. Open Access

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Author or creator
Noonburg, E. G.
Newman, L. A.
Lewis, M. A.
Crabtree, R. L.
Potapov, A. B.
Additional contributors
Subject/Keyword
Yellowstone National Park
dynamic programming
Cervus elaphus
game theory
foraging theory
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Language
English
Place
Time
Description
We develop a suite of models with varying complexity to predict elk movement behavior during the winter on the Northern Range of Yellowstone National Park (YNP). The models range from a simple representation of optimal patch choice to a dynamic game, and we show how the underlying theory in each is related by the presence or absence of state- and frequency-dependence. We compare predictions from each of the models for three variables that are of basic and applied interest: elk survival, aggregation, and use of habitat outside YNP. Our results suggest that despite low overall forage depletion in the winter, frequency-dependence is crucial to the predictions for elk movement and distribution. Furthermore, frequency-dependence interacts with mass-dependence in the predicted outcome of elk decision-making. We use these results to show how models that treat single movement decisions in isolation from the seasonal sequence of decisions are insufficient to capture landscape scale behavior.
Date created
2007
DOI
doi:10.7939/R36H4CS27
License information
Rights
© 2007 Elsevier. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
Citation for previous publication
Noonburg, E. G., Newman, L. A., Lewis, M., Crabtree, R. L., & Potapov, A. B. (2007). Sequential decision-making in a variable environment: modeling elk movement in Yellowstone National Park as a dynamic game. Theoretical Population Biology, 71(2), 182-195.
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