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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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Modeling Ecological Niches

Modeling Ecological Niches

(p.97) Chapter Seven Modeling Ecological Niches
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 explains how environmental data can be used to create models that characterize species’ ecological niches in environmental space. It introduces a model, which is a function constructed by means of data analysis for the purpose of approximating the true relationship (that is, the niche) in the form of the function f linking the environment and species occurrences. The chapter first considers the “meaning” of the function f that is being estimated by the algorithms before discussing the modeling algorithms, the approaches used to implement ecological niche modeling, model calibration, model complexity and overfitting, and model extrapolation and transferability. The chapter concludes with an overview of differences among methods and selection of “best” models, along with strategies for characterizing ecological niches in ways that allow visualization, comparisons, definition of quantitative measures, snf more.

Keywords:   environmental data, model, ecological niche, environmental space, species occurrence, ecological niche modeling, model calibration, overfitting, extrapolation, transferability

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