Uses and misuses of bioclimatic envelope modeling

Uses and misuses of bioclimatic envelope modeling Bioclimatic envelope models use associations between aspects of climate and species' occurrences to estimate the conditions that are suitable to maintain viable populations. Once bioclimatic envelopes are characterized, they can be applied to a variety of questions in ecology, evolution, and conservation. However, some have questioned the usefulness of these models, because they may be based on implausible assumptions or may be contradicted by empirical evidence. We review these areas of contention, and suggest that criticism has often been misplaced, resulting from confusion between what the models actually deliver and what users wish that they would express. Although improvements in data and methods will have some effect, the usefulness of these models is contingent on their appropriate use, and they will improve mainly via better awareness of their conceptual basis, strengths, and limitations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Ecological Society of America

Uses and misuses of bioclimatic envelope modeling

Ecology, Volume 93 (7) – Jul 1, 2012

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Publisher
Ecological Society of America
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by the Ecological Society of America
Subject
Concepts and Synthesis
ISSN
0012-9658
DOI
10.1890/11-1930.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Bioclimatic envelope models use associations between aspects of climate and species' occurrences to estimate the conditions that are suitable to maintain viable populations. Once bioclimatic envelopes are characterized, they can be applied to a variety of questions in ecology, evolution, and conservation. However, some have questioned the usefulness of these models, because they may be based on implausible assumptions or may be contradicted by empirical evidence. We review these areas of contention, and suggest that criticism has often been misplaced, resulting from confusion between what the models actually deliver and what users wish that they would express. Although improvements in data and methods will have some effect, the usefulness of these models is contingent on their appropriate use, and they will improve mainly via better awareness of their conceptual basis, strengths, and limitations.

Journal

EcologyEcological Society of America

Published: Jul 1, 2012

Keywords: Key words : biodiversity ; biogeography ; climate change ; climate envelopes ; conservation planning ; ecological niches ; invasions ; niche conservation ; restoration ecology ; species distributions ; translocation experiments ; uncertainty in prediction .

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