Essential elements of discourse for advancing the modelling of species' current and potential distributions

Authors

  • Darren J. Kriticos,

    Corresponding author
    1. E.H. Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia
    2. Cooperative Research Centre for Plant Biosecurity, Bruce, ACT, Australia
    • CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences and Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, Canberra, ACT, Australia
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.
  • David C. Le Maitre,

    1. Natural Resources and Environment, CSIR, Stellenbosch, South Africa
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Bruce L. Webber

    1. CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences and Climate Adaptation Flagship, Wembley, WA, Australia
    2. School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

A recent review by Dormann et al. (2012, Journal of Biogeography, 39, 2119–2131) has proposed that methods for the modelling of species distributions be considered as a continuum. We disagree with this thesis, and contend that attempting to present the diverse range of methods as a continuum is unhelpful and ultimately not convincing. It adds to the confusion about the strengths and weaknesses of the diversity of available modelling methods, what exactly it is that they model, and the most appropriate applications. We highlight variation within and between modelling methods that is obscured by the continuum framework and propose that context of application and clarity of method are critical elements for future discourse on the topic.

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