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Choice of threshold alters projections of species range shifts under climate change
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal Ecology.
2011 (English)In: Ecological Modelling, ISSN 0304-3800, Vol. 222, no 18, 3346-3354 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

One of the least explored sources of algorithmic uncertainty in bioclimatic envelope models (BEM) is the selection of thresholds to transform modelled probabilities of occurrence (or indices of suitability) into binary predictions of species presence and absence. We investigate the impacts of such thresholds in the specific context of climate change. BEM for European tree species were fitted combining 9 climatic models and emissions scenarios, 7 modelling techniques, and 14 threshold-setting techniques. We quantified sources of uncertainty in projections of turnover, and found that the choice of the modelling technique explained most of the variability (39%), while threshold choice explained 25% of the variability in the results, and their interaction an additional 19%. Choice of future climates explained 9% of total variability among projections. Estimated species range shifts obtained by applying different thresholds and models were grouped by IUCN-based categories of threat. Thresholds had a large impact on the inferred risks of extinction, producing 1.7- to 9.9-fold differences in the proportions of species projected to become threatened by climate change. Results demonstrate that threshold selection has large - albeit often unappreciated - consequences for estimating species range shifts under climate change. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 222, no 18, 3346-3354 p.
Keyword [en]
Thresholds, Bioclimatic envelope modelling, Species distribution, Uncertainty, Climate change
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-161597DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.07.011ISI: 000296124400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-161597DiVA: diva2:457793
Available from: 2011-11-19 Created: 2011-11-15 Last updated: 2011-11-19Bibliographically approved

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