Niche dynamics in space and time. Trends Ecol Evol

University of Lausanne, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Trends in Ecology & Evolution (Impact Factor: 16.2). 04/2008; 23(3):149-58. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2007.11.005
Source: PubMed


Niche conservatism, the tendency of a species niche to remain unchanged over time, is often assumed when discussing, explaining or predicting biogeographical patterns. Unfortunately, there has been no basis for predicting niche dynamics over relevant timescales, from tens to a few hundreds of years. The recent application of species distribution models (SDMs) and phylogenetic methods to analysis of niche characteristics has provided insight to niche dynamics. Niche shifts and conservatism have both occurred within the last 100 years, with recent speciation events, and deep within clades of species. There is increasing evidence that coordinated application of these methods can help to identify species which likely fulfill one key assumption in the predictive application of SDMs: an unchanging niche. This will improve confidence in SDM-based predictions of the impacts of climate change and species invasions on species distributions and biodiversity.

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    • "Environmental drivers of megafaunal extinctions Nogués-Bravo et al. 2008, Varela et al. 2010, Lorenzen et al. 2012 Species invasions Dudei & Stigall 2010, Malizia & Stigall 2011 Speciation and extinction patterns Maguire & Stigall 2009, Stigall 2013 Survival risk Stigall Rode & Lieberman 2005 Niche stability Martinéz Meyer et al. 2004, Pearman et al. 2008a, Veloz et al. 2012, Worth et al. 2014 Niche conservatism Peterson & Nyári 2007, Rodríguez-Sánchez & Arroyo 2008 Assemblage: used interchangeably with community to indicate a group comprising multiple species from a particular place and time Niche stability: a species niche space remains similar through ecological or evolutionary time and paleoclimatic data with observations of, for example, species traits, phylogeny, or gene frequencies (e.g., Lorenzen et al. 2012, Fordham et al. 2014, Metcalf et al. 2014). "

    Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics 12/2015; 46(1). DOI:10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-112414-054441 · 10.56 Impact Factor
    • "They are based on the notion of environmental niche as conceptualized by Hutchinson (1957) and are built by statistically linking species occurrence and environmental (most often bioclimatic) data, identifying an n-dimensional space contained within a set of relevant and preferential climate conditions, commonly called the 'climate space' of the species. Once fitted (or calibrated or trained), models can be projected onto other datasets comprising environmental/bioclimatic parameters for future or spatially different scenarios in order to study potential spatial and/or temporal changes in distribution (e.g. in the case of future distribution projections or invasive species acquiring new ranges; Pearman et al., 2008; Thuiller et al., 2008; Carvalho et al., 2011; Spangenberg et al., 2012). A basic assumption in setting up SDMs is that the full climate space of the modelled species is observed and incorporated into the training dataset. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim Species distribution models (SDMs) are commonly used to determine threats to biodiversity and opportunities under climate change. Despite SDMs being based on the assumption of complete knowledge of the climate space of the modelled species, truncated occurrence datasets (and hence truncated climate spaces) such as national inventories are often employed. This may lead to prediction errors, which have been proposed to stem from: (1) the degree of climate space truncation and/or (2) instability of the modelling algorithms. Our aim was to explore the potential causes of prediction errors in SDMs using truncated training datasets. Location Europe 11° W–32° E, 34°–72° N. Methods SDMs employing commonly used bioclimatic variables were applied to seven forest tree species. We created two model training datasets covering: (1) Germany only (significantly truncated climate space) and (2) Europe (minimally truncated climate space). Differences between the climate space represented by Germany-only and European data were measured on two-dimensional climate spaces obtained through principal component analysis of the bioclimatic variables. Seven SDM algorithms were run, and the stability of the response function and variable selection for each species and model type were analysed. Results The degree of climate space truncation was less important for model performance than the instability of model algorithms and indiscriminate variable selection. The latter led to irrelevant relationships of species occurrence with bioclimatic variables. These instabilities caused pronounced prediction errors. Main conclusions Our results strongly suggest that erroneous model predictions stem from instability and ecological irrelevance of the statistical functions relating the probability of a species' occurrence to bioclimatic variables, compounded by a lack of consistency in variable selection. Models displaying these characteristics showed lower overall performance when trained with truncated datasets. Further, commonly used ensemble approaches do not compensate for the shortfalls of individual models. Detailed model-by-model and species-by-species analysis of response functions and variable importance is recommended.
    11/2015; DOI:10.1111/geb.12381
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    • "Despite their merits, the use of these methods in the management of invasive species requires two important difficulties to be overcome. First, results from ENMs rely heavily on the assumption that species are in equilibrium with the environment (Pearman et al., 2008; Colwell & Rangel, 2009; Peterson, 2011). To fulfill this main assumption it is important to take into account habitat similarity between ranges, aiming to ensure that the ENM analysis remains restricted to those areas that present similar environmental conditions (Randin et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: The tunicate Ciona intestinalis is an opportunistic invader with high potential for causing economic losses in aquaculture centers. Recent phylogenetic and population genetic analysis support the existence of a genetic complex described as C. intestinalis with two main dominant species (sp A and B) occurring worldwide. In Chile, the species has been observed around 30 • S of latitude, but no official reports exist for the presence of C. intestinalis in southern regions (above 40 • S), where most of the mollusk aquaculture centers are located. Here, we used occurrences from multiple invaded regions and extensive field sampling to model and validate the environmental conditions that allow the species to persist and to find the geographic areas with the most suitable environmental conditions for the spread of C. intestinalis in the Chilean coast. By studying the potential expansion of C. intestinalis southward in the Chilean Coast, we aimed to provide valuable information that might help the development of control plans before the species becomes a significant problem, especially above 40 • S. Our results highlight that, by using portions of the habitat that are apparently distinguishable, the species seem to be not only genetically distinct, but ecologically distinct as well. The two regional models fitted for sp A and for sp B showed disagreement on which sections of Chilean coastline are considered more suitable for these species. While the model for sp A identifies moderately to highly suitable areas between 30 • and 40 • S, the model for sp B classifies the areas around 45 • S as the most appropriate. Data from field sampling show a positive linear relationship between density of C. intestinalis and the index of suitability for sp A in aquaculture centers. Understanding the relation of the distinct species with the surrounding environment provided valuable insights about probable routes of dispersion in Chile, especially into those areas considered suitable for aquaculture How to cite this article Januario et al. (2015), Combining environmental suitability and population abundances to evaluate the invasive potential of the tunicate Ciona intestinalis along the temperate South American coast. PeerJ 3:e1357
    PeerJ 10/2015; 3(Suppl):e1357. DOI:10.7717/peerj.1357 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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