The sensitivity of one algorithm for prediction of geographic distributions of species from point data to depth of geographic information was tested for three species of North American birds. Test species were chosen to represent three distinct distributional patterns—western North America (Pygmy Nuthatch Sitta pygmaea ) , eastern North America (Barred Owl Strix varia), and the Great Plains in the central part of the continent (Lark Bunting Calamospiza melanocorys ) . Distributional predictions were made using the expert-system algorithm Genetic Algorithm for Role-set Prediction (GARP). Depth of geographic information was manipulated by rarifying the number of coverages on which predictions were based, from the full complement of eight down to one, using a combination of jackknifing and bootstrapping. In all three species, five of the eight coverages were necessary to arrive at the asymptotic maximum predictive efficiency and to avoid broad variance in resulting predictive efficiencies. Annual mean temperature was a critical variable, in some cases more important than inclusion of additional coverages, to producing accurate distributional predictions.
Ecological Modelling – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 1999
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