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    Spatial behavior is of crucial importance for the risk assessment of pesticides and for the assessment of effects of agricultural practice or multiple stressors, because it determines field use, exposition, and recovery. Recently, population models have increasingly been used to understand the mechanisms driving risk and recovery or to conduct landscape-level risk assessments. To include spatial behavior appropriately in population models for use in risk assessments, a new method, "probabilistic walk," was developed, which simulates the detailed daily movement of individuals by taking into account food resources, vegetation cover, and the presence of conspecifics. At each movement step, animals decide where to move next based on probabilities being determined from this information. The model was parameterized to simulate populations of brown hares (Lepus europaeus). A detailed validation of the model demonstrated that it can realistically reproduce various natural patterns of brown hare ecology and behavior. Simulated proportions of time animals spent in fields (PT values) were also comparable to field observations. It is shown that these important parameters for the risk assessment may, however, vary in different landscapes. The results demonstrate the value of using population models to reduce uncertainties in risk assessment and to better understand which factors determine risk in a landscape context. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2299-2307. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

    Citation

    Joachim U Kleinmann, Magnus Wang. Modeling individual movement decisions of brown hare (Lepus europaeus) as a key concept for realistic spatial behavior and exposure: A population model for landscape-level risk assessment. Environmental toxicology and chemistry. 2017 Sep;36(9):2299-2307

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    PMID: 28169468

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