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Ecological Niches and Geographic Distributions (MPB-49)$
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A. Townsend Peterson, Jorge Soberón, Richard G. Pearson, Robert P. Anderson, Enrique Martínez-Meyer, Miguel Nakamura, and Miguel B. Araújo

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691136868

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691136868.001.0001

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Niches and Distributions in Practice: Overview

Niches and Distributions in Practice: Overview

(p.51) Chapter Four Niches and Distributions in Practice: Overview
Ecological Niches and Geographic Distributions (MPB-49)

A. Townsend Peterson

Jorge Soberón

Richard G. Pearson

Robert P. Anderson

Enrique Martínez-Meyer

Miguel Nakamura

Miguel Bastos Araújo

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the practice of modeling ecological niches and estimating geographic distributions. It first introduces the general principles and definitions underlying ecological niche modeling and species distribution modeling, focusing on model calibration and evaluation, before discussing the principal steps to be followed in building niche models. The first task in building a niche model is to collate, process, error-check, and format the data that are necessary as input. Two types of data are required: primary occurrence data documenting known presences (and sometimes absences) of the species, and environmental predictors in the form of raster-format GIS layers summarizing scenopoetic variables that may (or may not) be involved in delineating the ecological requirements of the species. The next step is to use a modeling algorithm to characterize the species’ ecological niche as a function of the environmental variables, followed by model projection and evaluation and finally, model transferability.

Keywords:   ecological niche, geographic distribution, ecological niche modeling, species distribution modeling, model calibration, model evaluation, algorithm, model projection, transferability

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