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
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
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