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RAMAS GIS version 6.0
Linking Spatial Data with Population Viability Analysis

See what's new in version 6.



RAMAS GIS

Use RAMAS GIS to 

  • link your GIS to an ecological model, 
  • use landscape data in your population viability analysis, 
  • incorporate changes in habitat into a metapopulation model, 
  • combine geographic and demographic data for risk assessment.
NEW BOOK: Case studies with RAMAS GIS
   
  See below for:
  • Importing landscape data from a GIS
  • Identifying habitat patches
  • Building a metapopulation model
  • Viability analysis and risk assessment
  • RAMAS GIS user interface
  • Documentation and examples
  • Technical requirements and cost
 See also:
 

RAMAS GIS is designed to link your GIS with a metapopulation model for population viability analysis and extinction risk assessment. Habitats used by most species are becoming increasingly fragmented, requiring a metapopulation modeling approach to risk analysis. Recognizing habitat patchiness from an endangered species' point of view requires spatial information on habitat suitability. RAMAS GIS meets both these requirements by linking metapopulation modeling with landscape data and GIS technology. It is a comprehensive extinction risk assessment system that operates in five steps:

RAMAS GIS system

  1. Spatial data.   RAMAS GIS imports spatial data on ecological requirements of a species. These may include GIS-generated maps of vegetation cover, land-use, or any other map that contains information on some aspect of the habitat that is important for the species (temperature, precipitation, slope, aspect, etc.). RAMAS GIS then combines the information in all these map layers into a map of habitat suitability (HS) with a user-defined habitat suitability function.
  2. Patch recognition.   RAMAS GIS uses the HS map to find habitat patches. It uses a patch-recognition algorithm and identifies areas of high suitability as a patch where a subpopulation may survive. The carrying capacity and other population-specific parameters of this patch (e.g., survival, fecundity, maximum growth rate) can be calculated as a user-defined function of the total HS, average HS, core area, patch perimeter (edge) and other habitat characteristics (from the GIS maps) for that the patch. RAMAS GIS then displays the spatial structure of the metapopulation, super-imposed with a color-coded map of habitat suitability and any other geographical feature that the user wants to include (coastlines, rivers, cities, etc.), and saves the patch structure as input for the metapopulation model. It also calculates various landscape indices (shape index, fractal dimension, edge:area ratio, etc.).
  3. Habitat dynamics.   If you have predictions about how habitat may change in the future (e.g., as a result of forest growth, logging, etc.), including merging or splitting patches because of habitat growth or fragmentation. RAMAS GIS imports this information in the form of a time series of habitat maps, and creates time series of population-specific parameters for input into the metapopulation model.
  4. Metapopulation model.   RAMAS GIS combines the spatial information on the metapopulation with user-input ecological parameters of the species to complete the metapopulation model. This model is identical to RAMAS Metapop, which is described below. RAMAS GIS contains RAMAS Metapop, so you should not buy both programs.
  5. Ecological risk assessment.   The user can run the metapopulation model to predict the risk of species extinction, time to extinction, expected occupancy rates and metapopulation abundance. The output options include all results listed for RAMAS Metapop. In addition, RAMAS GIS has a sensitivity analysis feature that allows multiple simulations with automatically changed input parameters. You can compare results from different simulations by superimposing graphs of risk curves, time-to-extinction distributions, trajectory summary, metapopulation occupancy and other outputs.
  User interface.   RAMAS GIS has an interactive, user-friendly menu system. Editing input parameters, displaying GIS map layers, and selecting output options are done with this menu system that includes a context-sensitive on-line help facility. There is also a large set of error and warning messages, and each input parameter (whether input from keyboard or file) is checked for consistency to prevent errors. Both input data and results can be saved to disk files.
  Heron
 Each type of result can be
  • viewed as a graph on the screen,
  • printed as a graph to a printer,
  • saved as a graphics file,
  • viewed as a numerical table on the screen,
  • printed as a numerical table to a printer,
  • saved as a numerical table to a disk file,
  • exported to a spreadsheet as a data table.
     
 

Documentation and examples.   The program is accompanied by a 200-page manual which includes discussions on basics of population and metapopulation dynamics, and descriptions of various menus and screens. One chapter contains a tutorial that illustrates the concepts of metapopulation dynamics with the use of several examples, and demonstrates the use of the software by guiding the user through step-by-step instructions. RAMAS GIS comes with sample files for about 60 species, including northern spotted owl, helmeted honeyeater, California gnatcatcher, California spotted owl, land snail, blue whale, jack-in-the-pulpit, speckled alder, teasel, loggerhead sea turtle, pool frog and other species.

Reviews:   See Quotes from RAMAS Reviews.

Applications:   See RAMAS GIS and RAMAS Metapop applications.

For a more detailed description of RAMAS GIS version 2.0, see Akcakaya (1996), a paper presented at the Third International Conference on Integrating GIS and Environmental Modeling, at Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Requirements:  See RAMAS GIS Technical Requirements.

For more information, see Frequently asked questions about RAMAS GIS.

Cost: See Software Price List and Ordering Information.

RAMAS GIS 1.0 was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program, and from the Electric Power Research Institute.


RAMAS Metapop version 6.0
Viability Analysis for Stage-Structured Metapopulations

See what's new in version 6.

What was new in RAMAS Metapop 5.0

Use RAMAS Metapop to build models that incorporate

  • spatial structure and multiple populations
  • age or stage structure
  • density dependence
  • variability (stochasticity)
 
 
  Most species exist in metapopulations in nature, for example in fragmented habitats or on archipelagos, where the spatial structure of the environment has important effects on the population dynamics. RAMAS Metapop is an interactive program that allows you to build models for species that live in multiple patches. It incorporates the spatial aspects of metapopulation dynamics, such as the configuration of the populations, dispersal and recolonization among patches and similarity of environmental patterns experienced by the populations. The program can be used to predict extinction risks and explore management options such as reserve design, translocations and reintroductions, and to assess human impact on fragmented populations.
 

Features of RAMAS Metapop include age or stage structure for each population, random variation and temporal trend in vital rates (survivorships, fecundities) and carrying capacities of populations, several types of density dependence, age- or stage-specific dispersal rates and catastrophes.

Input

RAMAS Metapop can use species-specific information both on the dynamics of each population and on the spatial structure of, and the interaction among populations. The model may include any of the following features and parameters for within-population and metapopulation dynamics.


  Population dynamics Metapopulation dynamics
  Age/stage structure of each population
Vital rates (survival rates, fecundities)
Sex structure and mating systems
Density dependence in vital rates: 
    logistic or Ricker (scramble competition) 
    Beverton-Holt type (contest competition) 
    ceiling (exponential growth to a ceiling) 
    none (exponential growth or decline) 
    Allee effects  
    User-defined functions
Carrying capacities of populations
Temporal trends in:
    carrying capacities
    survivals and fecundities
    catastrophe probability
    catastrophe effect

Variability:
    Demographic stochasticity  
    Fluctuations in vital rates  
    Fluctuations in carrying capacities 
    Local catastrophes
Inbreeding depression
Population management: harvest, introduction
Dynamic spatial structure 
Spatial variability in age structure: 
    Population-specific age/stage matrices 
    Population-specific initial distributions 
Dispersal rates among subpopulations: 
    Spatial variation 
    Age- or stage-specific 
    Density-dependent 
    Distance-dependent or user-specified
    Sex-specific
Correlation of environmental fluctuations
Distance-dependent spatial correlations
Spatial variation in catastrophes
Spreading catastrophes (e.g., disease)
    spread by dispersers
    spread by vectors
Regional catastrophes that can affect:
    population abundances
    carrying capacities
    fecundities and/or survival rates
    dispersal rates
Population management:
    Harvest, Introduction, Translocation
 

 
Capacity:   Depending on the available memory, RAMAS Metapop models can have up to 500 populations with 50 stages and 100 different types of age or stage matrices (each of which can be assigned to one or more populations). They can be simulated for up to 500 time steps with up to 10,000 replications.

Output.

RAMAS Metapop produces a variety of outputs that summarize the metapopulation dynamics of the species modeled. These include

  • Risk of species extinction; risk of metapopulation decline to a range of abundances,
  • Probability of population growth to a range of abundances,
  • Median time to extinction; and the distribution of times until the metapopulation abundance falls below (or exceeds) a specified threshold level,
  • Expected minimum abundance,
  • Abundance of the metapopulation and each population through time, and their expected variation,
  • Median and quartiles of the final metapopulation abundance,
  • Metapopulation occupancy (number of extant populations) through time, and its expected variation,
  • Local occupancy rate (the number of time steps that each population remains above a user-defined local threshold), and its expected variation,
  • Local extinction duration (maximum number of consecutive time steps during which a population remained below its local threshold),
  • Histogram of abundance in each stage at the final time step,
  • Average amount of harvest and its variation through time,
  • Probability that the harvest will fall below a range of thresholds,
  • Graphical summary of input data including the map of the metapopulation, density-dependence relations, and correlation and dispersal as functions of distance,
  • Analysis of the age or stage matrix, including finite rate of increase, (eigenvalue), stable stage/age distribution, reproductive values, sensitivity and elasticity matrices, and average residence times.

User interface.   RAMAS Metapop has an interactive, user-friendly menu system. Editing input parameters, displaying results, and selecting output options are done with this menu system that includes a context-sensitive on-line help facility. There is also a large set of error and warning messages, and each input parameter (whether input from keyboard or file) is checked for consistency to prevent errors. Both input data and results can be saved to disk files. Each type of result can be

  • viewed as graphs on the screen,
  • printed as graphs to a printer,
  • saved as tables to disk files,
  • viewed as tables on the screen,
  • printed as tables to a printer,
  • saved as a numerical table to a disk file,
  • exported to a spreadsheet as a data table.

Documentation and examples.   The program is accompanied by a 160-page manual which includes discussions on basics of population and metapopulation dynamics, and descriptions of various menus and screens. One chapter contains a tutorial that illustrates the concepts of metapopulation dynamics with the use of several examples, and demonstrates the use of the software by guiding the user through step-by-step instructions. RAMAS Metapop comes with sample files for about 60 species, including spotted owl, helmeted honeyeater, California gnatcatcher, land snail, blue whale, jack-in-the-pulpit, speckled alder, teasel, loggerhead sea turtle, pool frog and other species.

Reviews:   See Quotes from RAMAS Reviews.

Applications:   See RAMAS GIS and RAMAS Metapop applications.

Requirements:   IBM-compatible personal computer, running Microsoft Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT 4.0 or XP, with 30 megabytes of free hard disk space.

Cost: See Software Price List and Ordering Information.

For more information, see Frequently asked questions about RAMAS Metapop

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