The influence of non-climate predictors at local and landscape resolutions depends on the autecology of the species

Harris,DB, Gregory,SD, Brook,BW, Ritchie,EG, Croft,DB, Coulson,G and Fordham,DA 2014, The influence of non-climate predictors at local and landscape resolutions depends on the autecology of the species, Austral ecology, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 710-721, doi: 10.1111/aec.12134.

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Title The influence of non-climate predictors at local and landscape resolutions depends on the autecology of the species
Author(s) Harris,DB
Ritchie,EGORCID iD for Ritchie,EG
Journal name Austral ecology
Volume number 39
Issue number 6
Start page 710
End page 721
Total pages 12
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2014-09
ISSN 1442-9985
Keyword(s) Home range
Land cover
Species distribution model
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Summary Species distribution models have come under criticism for being too simplistic for making robust future forecasts, partly because they assume that climate is the main determinant of geographical range at large spatial extents and coarse resolutions, with non-climate predictors being important only at finer scales. We suggest that this paradigm might be obscured by species movement patterns. To explore this we used contrasting kangaroo (family Macropodidae) case studies: two species with relatively small, stable home ranges (Macropus giganteus and M.robustus) and three species with more extensive, adaptive ranging behaviour (M.antilopinus, M.fuliginosus and M.rufus). We predicted that non-climate predictors will be most influential to model fit and predictive performance at local spatial resolution for the former species and at landscape resolution for the latter species. We compared residuals autocovariate - boosted regression tree (RAC-BRT) model statistics with and without species-specific non-climate predictors (habitat, soil, fire, water and topography), at local- and landscape-level spatial resolutions (5 and 50km). As predicted, the influence of non-climate predictors on model fit and predictive performance (compared with climate-only models) was greater at 50 compared with 5km resolution for M.rufus and M.fuliginosus and the opposite trend was observed for M.giganteus. The results for M.robustus and M.antilopinus were inconclusive. Also notable was the difference in inter-scale importance of climate predictors in the presence of non-climate predictors. In conclusion, differences in autecology, particularly relating to space use, may contribute to the importance of non-climate predictors at a given scale, not model scale per se. Further exploration of this concept across a range of species is encouraged and findings may contribute to more effective conservation and management of species at ecologically meaningful scales. © 2014 Ecological Society of Australia.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/aec.12134
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Wiley
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