In this paper, reseachers based in New Caledonia present a new user-friendly platform for stacking species distribution models (SSDM) implemented in the popular R software environment. Free and open source, the “SSDM” package takes datasets of species presence/absence records and environmental variables, outputting maps of SSDMs based on a range of statistical methods. If absence records are required and not available, the package can generate pseudo-absences or use background data.
SSDM features a user-friendly graphical interface to accomodate loading of input data, modelling, and displaying the resulting model maps with an indication of the accurracy and performance.
To demonstrate the functionality and ease of use, the authors modelled the distributions of 100 of the world’s worst invasive alien species using more than 6 million occurrences downloaded from GBIF.org combined with 19 WorldClim climate variables. Stacking the models, the output map provides a view of the worldwide vulnerability to these invasive species.
The SSDM package is available for download from CRAN or within the R environment.