A CEES project
The geographical distribution of biological species is highly correlated with climate, soil and other physical factors. This implies that species distributions will shift in response to climate change, and other perturbations, in the future. But how, exactly? How quickly? And how might these shifts be affected by other perturbations, such as habitat fragmentation and invasive species?
This project aims to develop a suite of models that can enable better predictions of how tree species distributions might respond to climate change. We are following four research tracks at present, but these are not mutually exclusive and we hope to combine them in the near future:
(1) Developing a suite of next-generation bioclimate models which, unlike current models, are able to capture both the direct effects of climate on species distributions (climate --> species A), and the indirect effects of climate (climate --> species B --> species A).
(2) Deploying climate-dependent Spatial Patch Occupancy Models (SPOMs) to capture the dynamic balance of local extinctions and recolonizations that characterize the regional / continental scale dynamics of many species.
(3) Developing statistical methods to deal with problems common to species distribution modelling, including uncertainty in predictor variables and variable sampling effort.
(4) Using the PPA to understand how the climate-dependent biology of individual trees scales up to determine the structure and dynamics of forests and, therefore, the dynamics of tree species distributions (e.g. see this publication). See scaling from trees to forests.
- Cory Merow, Matthew J. Smith, Thomas C. Edwards, Antoine Guisan, Sean McMahon, Signe Normand, Wilfried Thuiller, Rafael O. Wuest, Niklaus E. Zimmerman, and Jane Elith, What do we gain from simplicity versus complexity in species distribution models? , in Ecography, Wiley, August 2014.
- Mark C Vanderwel, Vassily S Lyutsarev, and Drew W Purves, Climate-related variation in mortality and recruitment determine regional forest-type distributions, in Global Ecology and Biogeography, Wiley, 4 June 2013.
- Mark C Vanderwel and Drew W Purves, How do disturbances and environmental heterogeneity affect the pace of forest distribution shifts under climate change?, in Ecography, Wiley, June 2013.
- Cory Merow, John A. Silander, and Matthew J. Smith, A practical guide to MaxEnt for modeling species' distributions: what it does, and why inputs and settings matter, in Ecography, Wiley, April 2013.
- Robin Freeman, Ben Dean, Holly Kirk, Kerry Leonard, Richard A Phillips, Chris M Perrins, and Tim Guilford, Predictive ethoinformatics reveals the complex migratory behaviour of a pelagic seabird, the Manx Shearwater, in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Royal Society, March 2013.
- Raul Garcia-Valdes, Miguel A Zavala, Migueal B Araujo, and Drew W Purves, Chasing a moving target: projecting climate change-induced shifts in non-equilibrial tree species distributions, in Journal of Ecology, British Ecological Society, January 2013.
- Glenn Marion, Greg J. McInerny, Jörn Pagel, Stephen Catterall, Alex R. Cook, Florian Hartig, and Robert B. O'Hara, Parameter and uncertainty estimation for process-oriented population and distribution models: data, statistics and the niche, in Journal of Biogeography, vol. 39, no. 12, pp. 2225–2239, 2012.
- Greg J. McInerny and Rampal S. Etienne, Stitch the niche – a practical philosophy and visual schematic for the niche concept, in Journal of Biogeography, vol. 39, no. 12, pp. 2103–2111, 2012.
- Greg J. McInerny and Rampal S. Etienne, Pitch the niche – taking responsibility for the concepts we use in ecology and species distribution modelling, in Journal of Biogeography, vol. 39, no. 12, pp. 2112–2118, 2012.
- Greg J. McInerny and Rampal S. Etienne, Ditch the niche – is the niche a useful concept in ecology or species distribution modelling?, in Journal of Biogeography, vol. 39, no. 12, pp. 2096–2102, 2012.