Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly being used to address a diverse range of applied and theoretical questions ( Guisan and Thuiller 2005 , Jeschke and Strayer 2008 ). Also known as ecological niche models, bioclimatic envelopes, habitat models and resource selection functions, SDMs are correlative models that use environmental and/or geographic information to explain observed patterns of species occurrences. Their expanding use means that models are now being fitted to new forms of data, including a recent focus on modelling occurrence records from museums or herbaria ( Graham et al. 2004 ). For some applications, such as climate change or invasive species research, model predictions are extended beyond the geographic or environmental region from which training samples were drawn ( Araújo et al. 2005 ). SDMs are also being used in a variety of fields including evolutionary biology, where they are used to study topics such as speciation or hybrid zones ( Kozak et al. 2008 ) and epidemiology, where they are used to predict the spread of disease ( Peterson et al. 2002 ). As a result of these diverse uses of SDMs that have been spurred on by advances in geographic information systems (GTS, Foody
Ecography – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2009
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