CDMetaPOP 2: a multispecies, eco-evolutionary simulation framework for landscape demogenetics and connectivity

Casey C. Day, Erin L. Landguth, Ryan K. Simmons, Andrew R. Bearlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multispecies approaches to questions in ecology and evolution are at the forefront of many fields spanning both theoretical and applied research. In conservation and landscape genetics, simulation models offer a powerful means to evaluate complex questions, yet most models lack the ability to consider landscape effects on multiple species or to simulate the complex interactions that occur among species and drive eco-evolutionary processes. Tools are needed that provide a mechanistic framework to explore multiple and simultaneous interspecific interactions and their effects on demogenetic processes for each species. We present a generalized, multispecies version of Cost-Distance Meta-Population (CDMetaPOP) that simulates changes in neutral and selection-driven genotypes across space and time as a function of individual-based movement, spatial population dynamics, and multiple and dynamic landscape drivers. The number of species in a given simulation is limited only by the number of computer processors available. In addition to simulating multiple species, we use Lotka–Volterra theory to implement interspecific interactions via competition. We validate the competition model and present a real-world example to demonstrate the potential role of species interactions in landscape connectivity and gene flow. While the example uses fish as the model species, CDMetaPOP ver. 2 is flexible enough to simulate species that span the breadth of the tree of life. The simulation framework presented here provides a novel approach to addressing questions concerning the spatial ecology, evolution, and conservation of diverse taxa, from individual species to whole communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere06566
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • competition
  • individual-based
  • landscape connectivity
  • landscape genetics
  • multispecies
  • simulation model
  • spatial population model


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