General Observations

  • behavioural data regarding critters is somewhat lacking in scientific literature; typically research appears to take a top-down approach by defining habitat through correlations with occurence data. Our bottom-up approach of defining agent behaviour from the perspective of the individual is utilized less often, making empirical data harder to come by
  • could try to reclassify tiles to reflect suitability, using spatial analyses performed during nightly updates?


  • Connectivity of landscape is very much species-specific
  • Contiguity of habitat (ie. movement corridors) I think will have to be assessed at the agent level

Specific Requirements

Edge habitat
  • Denotes the area of habitat that is modified by it's proximity to the interface between two adjacent areas of different habitat classification. These areas usually represent a relatively extreme change in vegetation cover, typified by an abrupt transition in community composition, structure, and growth form.
  • (via wikipedia:) In the case of a forest where the adjacent land has been cut, creating an open/forest boundary, sunlight and wind penetrate to a much greater extent, drying out the interior of the forest close to the edge and encouraging growth of opportunistic species at the edge. Air temperature, vapor pressure deficit, soil moisture, light intensity and levels of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) all change at edges.
  • The definition of an edge and the depth of it's influence into adjoining habitats is often dependent on the specific perspective of the individual species utilizing the ecotone, and the specifics of the adjoining habitats.
    • Therefore, pre-computing edge habitat in Trails Forward game may require multiple definitions; ie. Beaudry et al (2010) define two levels (43m and 85m) for different forest bird species, which would correspond to roughly 1 or 2 acre squares (1 acre = square with edges of 63.61 m or 208.7 ft)

Core habitat

ToDo List

  • define some basic terms of requirements for the individual species (ie. contiguity of habitat, edges, etc)
  • identify the major constraints of defining critters using netlogo (ie. getting them to process landscape data to recognize patterns instead of just proportional composition, ie. recognize contiguous habitat)
  • further refinement of habitat requirements
  • try and define which elements can be pre-processed
  • look at defining generic behavioural attributes that can help multiple individuals utilize larger contiguous patches (ie repellancy/spacing rules)
  • Andy Paulios @ DNR may be a good contact


Beaudry, F., A. M. Pidgeon, V. C. Radeloff, R. W. Howe, D. J. Mladenoff, and G. A. Bartelt. 2010. A framework for regional scale planning for forest birds of conservation concern in the face of limited information and a need for land management guidelines. Biological Conservation, 143(7): 1759-1769. PDF