Population Ecology

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 247–256

Is heterogeneity of catchability in capture–recapture studies a mere sampling artifact or a biologically relevant feature of the population?

  • Laurent Crespin
  • Rémi Choquet
  • Mauricio Lima
  • Joseph Merritt
  • Roger Pradel
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10144-008-0090-8

Cite this article as:
Crespin, L., Choquet, R., Lima, M. et al. Popul Ecol (2008) 50: 247. doi:10.1007/s10144-008-0090-8

Abstract

The heterogeneity of catchability (HC) among the individuals encountered during a capture–recapture study has long been regarded as a liability. However, heterogeneous capture probabilities may reflect interesting but hidden features of the population, such as social status. The difficulty is to distinguish between this intrinsic heterogeneity and the extrinsic heterogeneity induced by the study itself. So far, population ecologists have not been able to distinguish between these two sources of variation in capture heterogeneity because, in the presence of heterogeneity of capture in the data, they have frequently used a too simple approach. This traditional approach, which consists of incorporating two common sources of lack of fit (transience and trap-dependence), does not directly model the HC and thus cannot investigate its biological meaning. In this context, we propose, for open populations, to directly model the HC by employing multievent models. Multievent models make it possible to break HC into two classes of catchability viewed as uncertain states. With the introduction of a coefficient of heterogeneity to model proportional probabilities of capture over time in the two classes, our approach allows the investigation of HC in a parsimonious way. In this paper, we apply both this new approach and the traditional approach to a long-term data set of male deer mice Peromyscus maniculatus. We then compare 13 candidate models separately for each approach. Our results indicate that the new approach is superior to the traditional approach.

Keywords

Multievent modelsPeromyscusSmall mammalsSurvivalTransienceTrap-dependence

Supplementary material

10144_2008_90_MOESM1_ESM.doc (50 kb)
Table S1. E-SURGE code to run most of the models in the heterogeneity of capture (HC) or the traditional approach (trap-dependence and transience effect). Table S2. A general model making possible to chose between HC and the traditional approach by reduction (DOC 50 kb).

Copyright information

© The Society of Population Ecology and Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurent Crespin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rémi Choquet
    • 3
  • Mauricio Lima
    • 1
  • Joseph Merritt
    • 4
  • Roger Pradel
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Biodiversity (CASEB), Departamento de EcologíaPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Centre de Biologie et de Gestion des Populations (CBGP)Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)Montferrier-sur-Lez cedexFrance
  3. 3.Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE)CNRSMontpellier cedex 5France
  4. 4.Illinois Natural History SurveyChampaignUSA
  5. 5.Grupo Ecologìa de poblacionesInstitut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avançats IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB)EsporlesSpain