[MARMAM] New paper on temporal resolution for niche modelling in dynamic environments

marc fernandez marc.fern at gmail.com
Tue Aug 29 02:20:08 PDT 2017


Dear colleagues,

You may be interested in our recent methodological paper published on the
Journal of Biogeography on how to select the temporal scale of
environmental variables when modelling species distributions in dynamic
environments, such as cetaceans:

The importance of temporal resolution for niche modelling in dynamic marine
environments
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jbi.13080/abstract

Marc Fernandez, Chris Yesson, Alexandre Gannier, Peter I Miller and José MN
Azevedo

Abstract:

Highly dynamic ocean environments can experience dramatic changes over
relatively short timeframes, affecting the spatial distribution of
resources and therefore the presence or absence of highly mobile species.
We use simulation studies to investigate how different temporal resolutions
might affect the results of species distribution models for highly mobile
species (e.g. cetaceans) in marine environments. We developed three virtual
species with different habitat preferences influenced by (1) only static
(topographic), (2) only dynamic (oceanographic), and (3) both dynamic and
static variables. Assuming that species would reposition themselves daily
according to these preferences (as has been observed for large marine
foragers such as cetaceans), we used two different approaches (generalized
linear model and generalized boosted model) to test the effect of using
daily, weekly and monthly environmental datasets to model distributions.
The results showed that the selection of different temporal scales has a
very important effect on model predictions. When dynamic variables are
important components of habitat preference, models based on daily or weekly
timeframes performed best at reconstructing the known niche. It is
important that we consider temporal resolution when applying species
distribution models. Several factors (e.g. species ecology and
oceanographic characteristics of the ecosystem) should be taken into
consideration when selecting an adequate temporal scale for niche
modelling. For fine scale applications (e.g. dynamic ocean management),
highly dynamic ecosystems, and highly mobile species, our results suggest
exploring temporal resolution of 7–8 days rather than coarser temporal
scales. For some applications annual, seasonal or even monthly averages may
produce inferior or inaccurate models.

Cheers, Marc Fernandez
Ph. D candidate; cE3c - Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental
Changes/Azorean Biodiversity Group, and Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia,
Universidade dos Açores, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
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