Species Distribution Modeling for Conservation Educators and Practitioners

Models that predict distributions of species by combining known occurrence records with digital layers of environmental variables have much potential for application in conservation. Through using this module, teachers will enable students to develop species’ distribution models, to apply the models across a series of analyses, and to interpret predictions accurately. Part A introduces the modeling approach, outlines key concepts and terminology, and describes questions that may be addressed using the approach. A theoretical framework that is fundamental to ensuring that students understand the uses and limitations of the models is then described. Part B details the main steps in building and testing a distribution model. Part C describes three case studies that illustrate applications of the models: i) Predicting distributions of known and unknown species in Madagascar; ii) Predicting global invasions by plants of South African origin; and iii) Modeling the potential impacts of climate change on species’ distributions in Britain and Ireland. This module is targeted at a level suitable for teaching graduate students and conservation professionals.

See also:
Mathematical Modeling and Conservation
Biogeography in Conservation
Applications of Remote Sensing to Ecological Modeling

Theme: Ecology for Conservation

Language: English

Region: Global

Keywords: climate change, data analysis, modeling, planning, tools

Components: 6

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Synthesis: Species' Distribution Modeling for Conservation Educators and Practitioners

Author: R.G. Pearson



Recommended Resource: Species Distribution Modeling Training Course

Source: Richard Pearson, Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER) at UCL

This Species Distribution Modelling training course contains a set of 10 lectures by NCEP module author Richard Pearson at University College London (UCL). Topics range from the theory and fundamentals of ecological niche theory to the application of species distribution modeling in conservation management. These lectures are a useful supplemental tool for both educators and students in gaining a better practical and theoretical understanding of Species Distribution Modeling. 


Exercise: A Brief Tutorial on Maxent

Author: S. Phillips



Presentation: An Introduction to Niche-based Distribution Modeling: Theory and Practice

Author: R.G. Pearson

Teaching Notes: Species Distribution Modeling for Conservation Educators and Practitioners

Author: R.G. Pearson

Solutions: A Brief Tutorial on Maxent

Author: R.G. Pearson