Coastal Landscape Analysis and Modeling Study


David A. Boughton
(831) 420-3920

B.A. 1988 Cornell University, Ithaca NY.
Taxonomist 1989-91, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.
Ph.D. 1998, University of Texas, Austin.
International Fellow 1998, University of Helsinki, Finland.
Postdoctoral Researcher 1999, Environmental Protection Agency, Durham NC.

Research interests:
Metapopulation dynamics (of insects [especially butterflies], plants, macrofungae). Behavior, evolution, and ecology of dispersal systems. Effects of disturbance regimes and land use on biodiversity. Computer models of populations and landscapes.

Current research projects:
Currently, I am examining the effects of historical disturbance regimes on the distribution of rare species, using as a "model system" the old-growth specialists that inhabit the Coast Range of Oregon (especially beetles, macrofungae, lichens). The approach involves dynamic computer models of metapopulations and landscapes. These generate predictions about species distributions, which can be tested via field studies. Other ongoing projects include empirical studies of metapopulation dynamics and dispersal behavior in the Edith's Checkerspot Butterfly (Euphydryas editha), and theoretical studies of the relationships between historical disturbance regimes, managed disturbance regimes, and species viability.

Research applications:
Research is broadly aimed at developing multi-species approaches to biological conservation on Federal lands.

Selected Publications:

  • Boughton, D.A. Species viability in stochastic landscapes. Conservation Ecology, in review.

  • Boughton, D.A. The dispersal system of a butterfly: a test of source-sink theory suggests the intermediate-scale hypothesis. American Naturalist, in press.

  • Boughton, D.A., E.R. Smith, and R.V.O’Neill. 1999. Regional vulnerability: a conceptual framework. Ecosystem Health 5: 312-322.

  • Boughton, D.A. 1999. Empirical evidence for source-sink dynamics in a butterfly: Temporal barriers and alternative states. Ecology 80: 2727-2739.

  • Thomas, C.D., M.C. Singer & D.A. Boughton. 1996. Catastrophic extinction of population sources in a complex butterfly metapopulation. American Naturalist 148: 957-975.

Consider a rare species that is specialized on old-growth forest…

Here's a model of the Coast Range of Oregon, represented simply as an array of 1 km squares. The model (Wimberly et al., Conserv. Biol. 14: 167-180) randomly simulates the interplay of forest growth and forest fires under a natural disturbance regime. Darker colors represent older forest.

Year 0 Year 100 Year 200 Year 1000 Year 2000


Here are patches of old-growth forest, defined as stands with more than 200 years since the last stand-replacing fire. At grand time scales, the patches are a shifting mosaic.

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Here are the portions of the landscape that were continuously occupied by old-growth forest (according to this one iteration of the model, of course).

  Year 100 Year 200 Year 1000 Year 2000


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