Zeigler, SL, MC Neel, L Oliviera, BE Raboy, WF Fagan. 2011. Conspecific and heterospecific attraction in assessments of functional connectivity. Biodiversity and Conservation DOI: 10.1007/s10531-011-0107-z.

Functional connectivity is known to have an important, positive influence on species persistence. Measurements of functional connectivity traditionally focus on structural attributes of landscapes such as the distance and matrix type between habitat patches as well as on how species interact with those structural attributes. However, we propose that the social behavior of a species, through conspecific and heterospecific attraction, will also impact connectivity by changing how dispersers move with respect to each other and occupied patches. We analyzed functional connectivity patterns using circuit and graph theory for golden-headed lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) in Brazil under three scenarios. In the first scenario, we looked at connectivity without the effects of attraction under varying maximum dispersal distance and ecological movement cost thresholds. In the second scenario, we allowed dispersers to travel over more hostile matrix than they normally would to reach an occupied patch. In the final scenario, we allowed dispersers to move only to occupied patches. We found that, according to the first scenario, range-wide functional landscape connectivity for golden-headed lion tamarins is low at realistic maximum dispersal distance and movement cost thresholds. Incorporating the effects of conspecific or heterospecific attraction would increase functional connectivity, in the case of scenario two, or decrease functional connectivity, in the case of scenario three. Because conspecific/heterospecific attraction can have an impact on movement for some species, this factor should be incorporated in assessments of functional connectivity patterns for social species and others where patch occupancy is likely to influence the movements of dispersers.