Such modelling exploits relationships between species' occurrences and characteristic environmental conditions. The accuracy of resulting models is crucial if they are to improve our understanding of patterns in biological diversity and inform conservation decisions.
A new study by McPherson and Jetz in the journal Ecography demonstrates how some species’ distributions are better captured by these models than others' due to inherent differences in their ecological traits.
To estimate the level of uncertainty in model predictions, the authors have examined how species’ characteristics such as body size and diet affect model accuracy in 1329 African bird species. Distribution models are least accurate for migratory and wetland species and species with large geographic ranges. These findings illustrate the interaction between species' ecological attributes and their environmental requirements, a long-standing question in ecology.
From a practical standpoint, the study offers scientists, wildlife managers and policy-makers a rule of thumb for gauging the reliability of species distribution models when careful tests of model accuracy are hampered by lacking data. Moreover the study indicates that reasonable models of current distributions can be achieved for most species, which is excellent news for anyone using distribution models in conservation planning.
Davina Quarterman | alfa
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16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
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