|Title||Scale effects in species distribution models: implications for conservation planning under climate change|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Authors||Seo, C, Thorne, JH, Hannah, L, Thuiller, W|
|Keywords||global climate models, grid size sensitivity analysis, sensitivity analysis, species range|
Predictions of future species' ranges under climate change are needed for conservation planning, for which species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used. However, global climate model-based (GCM) output grids can bias the area identified as suitable when these are used as SDM predictor variables, because GCM outputs, typically at least 50Ã—50â€Škm, are biologically coarse. We tested the assumption that species ranges can be equally well portrayed in SDMs operating on base data of different grid sizes by comparing SDM performance statistics and area selected by four SDMs run at seven grid sizes, for nine species of contrasting range size. Area selected was disproportionately larger for SDMs run on larger grid sizes, indicating a cut-off point above which model results were less reliable. Up to 2.89 times more species range area was selected by SDMs operating on grids above 50Ã—50â€Škm, compared to SDMs operating at 1â€Škm. Spatial congruence between areas selected as range also diverged as grid size increased, particularly for species with ranges between 20â€Š000 and 90â€Š000â€Škm. These results indicate the need for caution when using such data to plan future protected areas, because an overly large predicted range could lead to inappropriate reserve location selection.
|Short Title||Biology Letters|