Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA)

Working groups

Species distribution modeling and remote sensing

From field observations to distribution maps using species distribution models

Coordinators: Davnah Payne (GMBA), Cornelia Krug, Ariane de Bremont
Community members: E. Ellis, A. Guisan, J. Lembrechts, C. Randin, M. Schaepman, P. Verburg
GMBA SSC members: N. Yoccoz, W. Jetz
Period: 2017 -
Status: ongoing

Understanding the past and present distribution of species is important for many applications, including predictions of future biodiversity patters and the development of sustainable management and conservation strategies. Species occurrence is commonly obtained from field data (e.g., collections, surveys, checklists, expert range maps) and increasingly provided by remote sensing. Species distribution models (SDMs) in turn relate occurrence data to spatial variables (e.g., climate, topography, land use).

Incorporating spatial information in SDMs raises a number of methodological issues. These issues are associated with the type of spatial variable (e.g., climate, topography, land use), their quality and associated error and uncertainties, their typical process length, and their context of use; with the quality and spatio-temporal resolution of the species data; and with the context in which SDMs are applied. These challenges remain to be fully explored.

This working group is a joint activity of the Future Earth Global Research Projects GMBA, BioDISCOVERY, and Global Land Program supported by funding from the European Space Agency, Future Earth and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Past Activity

Informing Species Distribution Models and Essential Biodiversity Variables using Remote Sensing

University of Zurich (Irchel Campus), Switzerland, 05-09.02.2018