Reflecting Local Adaptations in Species Distribution Models

This paper develops case studies of two species to address uncertainty surrounding local adaptation in species distributions models. Using GBIF-mediated occurrences for the Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) and the Siberian primrose (Primula nutans), researchers built population-based models and whole-species models.

This paper develops case studies of two species to address uncertainty surrounding local adaptation in species distributions models. Using GBIF-mediated occurrences for the Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) and the Siberian primrose (Primula nutans), researchers built population-based models and whole-species models. The modelled results  differed significantly, suggesting that important population-specific climatic conditions may be lost in whole-species models. The authors interpret their findings to recommend using population-based models rather than whole-species models where experimental studies suggest the presence of local adaptations. Failing to do so may lead to conservation management mistakes.  

Citations

Hällfors, M. H., Liao, J., Dzurisin, J. D. K., Grundel, R., Hyvärinen, M., Towle, K., … Hellmann, J. J. (2015). Addressing potential local adaptation in species distribution models: implications for conservation under climate change. Ecological Applications, 15–0926.1. doi:10.1890/15-0926

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