The performance of models relating species geographical distributions to climate is independent of trophic level

Brian Huntley, Rhys E. Green, Yvonne C. Collingham, Jane K. Hill, Stephen G. Willis, Patrick J. Bartlein, Wolfgang Cramer, Ward J. M. Hagemeijer, Christopher J. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Species–climate 'envelope' models are widely used to evaluate potential climate change impacts upon species and biodiversity. Previous studies have used a variety of methods to fit models making it difficult to assess relative model performance for different taxonomic groups, life forms or trophic levels. Here we use the same climatic data and modelling approach for 306 European species representing three major taxa (higher plants, insects and birds), and including species of different life form and from four trophic levels. Goodness-of-fit measures showed that useful models were fitted for >96% of species, and that model performance was related neither to major taxonomic group nor to trophic level. These results confirm that such climate envelope models provide the best approach currently available for evaluating reliably the potential impacts of future climate change upon biodiversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-426
Number of pages10
JournalEcology Letters
Volume7
Issue number5
Early online date16 Apr 2004
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2004

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • birds
  • butterflies
  • climate change
  • envelope models
  • Europe
  • goodness-of-fit
  • higher plants

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