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Applications of ALMaSS

The flexibility of ALMaSS has resulted in its application in a wide range of scientific studies, for example:

  • Population-level risk assessment (PLRA) - there are many examples of the use of ALMaSS in PLRA. One example is voles and anti-androgenic stressors 
  • Population ecology - one of the main reasons behind development of these models is to use them as framework to evaluate our understanding of the ecology of the species. In the case of the European Brown Hare this has led to some interesting insights to population regulation 
  • Management of small game populations. Rather than just predict impacts or risk it is also possible to experiment with models in ALMaSS to evaluate scenarios and suggest potential management. Some examples are evaluating the impact of hunting and conservation measures 
  • Impact assessment - impact assessment using ALMaSS is usually done by comparing a current baseline scenario with a potential future scenario. This can be done relatively easily by modifying input maps as in the case of evaluating a ground water protection plan
  • Policy evaluation and multi-criteria decision making are really just extended impact assessment applications of ALMaSS, based on the fact that the number of species and landscapes available for scenarios has increased greatly. For example assessing pesticide policies and in-field management for wildlife
  • Climate studies - although still in development, it is possible to use ALMaSS to evaluate the impact of changes in climate on the species modelled by the system. The skylark response to climate is a good example of the kind of responses obtained
  • Population genetics. ALMaSS models can be very detailed, and can include modelling mate selection and genetics at the individual level. This provides a number of potential new areas such as modelling genetics in small populations, and modelling the development of resistance e.g. to insecticides. Some vole population genetics was done early in ALMaSS development and currently this is being utilised in a PhD study to look at resistance development to rodenticides.