November 29, 2011
Title: Edge effects on caribou population: modelling via advection-diffusion
Abstract:I will present a model of caribou movement in the case where a road or logging in forests perturbs the home range of caribou. A probabilistic approach is used to describe the movement of caribou and by a limiting process, an advection-diffusion (Fokker-Planck) equation is obtained. The parameters of the model are estimated using data obtained from northern regions of Québec by the team of D. Fortin (Biology, U. Laval) and R. Courtois, C. Dussault (MRNF, Québec). Simulations of the model are performed using the finite element method with a Streamlined-Upwind Petrov-Galerkin formulation. The main result predicts a density peak of population at about 4.6 km from the boundary of a road or a clear cut and this prediction is verified using an independent data set. This is joint work with D. Fortin, A. Fortin, N. Courbin, C. Tye-Gingras (Laval), P. Moorcroft (Harvard), R. Courtois and C. Dussault (MRNF, Québec).