Course detail

LCF5883 - Species Distribution Modelling for Biodiversity Conservation

Credit hours

In-class work
per week
per week
2 weeks
60 hours

Katia Maria Paschoaletto Micchi de Barros Ferraz
Milton Cezar Ribeiro

1) To provide basis to the species distirbution modelling, considering different sptail scales, organisms offauna and flora, and incorporating concpets, methods and apllications; 2) To enable students to use various softwares and spatial data modeling and analysis; and 3) to discuss the applicattions in the model use for biodiversity conservation

Introduction to the The Species Distribution Modeling (SDM), presenting historical and theoretical reference; sources of biodiversity data; sources of environmental data; introduction of landscape ecology for modeling purposes; data preparing at the landscape scale; data quality assessment of biodiversity and environmental data; software and methods used for modeling; modeling procedures, considering algorithms, validation and sources of errors; potentialities, limitations and applications;practical examples of SDM applications for conservation.

Species distribution modelling:
Elith, J., Graham, C.H., Anderson, R.P., Dudík, M., Ferrier, S., Guisan, A., Hijmans, R.J., Huettmann, F., Leathwick, J.R., Lehmann, A., Li, J., Lohmann, L.G., Loiselle, B.A., Manion, G., Moritz, C., Nakamura, M., Nakazawa, Y., Overton, J. McC., Peterson, A.T., Phillips, S.J., Richardson, K.S., Scachetti-Pereira, R., Schapire, R.E., Soberón, J., Williams, S., Wisz, M.S., Zimmermann, N.E. 2006. Novel methods improve prediction of species´ distribution models. Ecography 32, 66-77.
Elith, J., Leathwick, J.R. 2009. Species distribution models: ecological explanation and prediction across space and time. Annual Review of Ecololy, Evolution and Systematics 40:677-697.
Elith, J., Graham, C.H. 2009. Do they? How do they? WHY do they differ? On finding reasons for differing performances of species distribution models. Ecography 32:66-77.
Fielding, A.H., J.F. Bell. 1997. A review of methods for the assessment of prediction errors in conservation presence/absence models. Environmental Conservation, 24(1): 38-49.
Guisan, A. et al. 2013. Predicting species distributions for conservation decisions. Ecology Letters 16: 1424-1435.
Liu, C., Berry, P.M., Dawson, T.P., Pearson, R.G. 2005. Selecting thresholds of occurrence in the prediction of species distributions. Ecography 28: 385–393.
Liu, C., White, M., Newell, G. (2011) Measuring and comparing the accuracy of species distribution models with presence-absence data. Ecography 34: 232–243.
Loiselle, B.A., Graham, C.H., Goerck, J.M., Ribeiro, M.C., 2010. Assessing the impact of deforestation and climate change on the range size and environmental niche of bird species in the Atlantic forests, Brazil. Journal of Biogeography, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02285.x.
Pearson, R. G. 2007. Species’ Distribution Modeling for Conservation Educators and Practitioners. Synthesis. American Museum of Natural History. Available at
Phillips, S. J., Dudík, M. 2008. Modeling of species distributions with Maxent: new extensions and a comprehensive evaluation. Ecography 31: 161-175.
Phillips, S.J., Anderson, R.P., Schapire, R.E. 2006. Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modelling 190:231-259.
Phillips, S.J., Dudík, M., Elith, J., Graham, C.H., Lehmann, A., Leathwick, J., Ferrier, S. 2009. Sample selection bias and presence-only distribution models: implications for background and pseudo-absence data. Ecological Applications 19:181-197.
Rodriguez-Soto, C., Monroy-Vilchis, O., Maiorano, L., Boitani, L., Faller, J.C., Briones, M.A., Nunez, R., Rosas-Rosas, O., Ceballos, G., Falcucci, A., 2011. Predicting potential distribution of the jaguar (Panthera onca) in Mexico: identification of priority areas for conservation. Diversity and Distributions 17:350-361.
Tulloch, A. et al. 2016. Conservation planners tend to ignore improved accuracy of modelled species distributions to focus on multiple threats and ecological processes. Biological Conservation, 199, 157-171.
Sensoriamento remoto e geoprocessamento aplicado à biodiversidade (remote sensing and geoprocessing applied to biodiversity):
Nagendra, H., gadgil, M. 1999. Biodiversity assessment at multiple scales: Linking remotely sensed data with field information. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (PNAS) 96:9154-9158.
Wiens, J., Sutter, R., Anderson, M., Blanchard, J., Barnett, A., Aguilar-Amuchastegui, N., Avery, C., Laine, S. 2009. Selecting and conserving lands for biodiversity: The role of remote sensing. Remote Sensing of Enviroment.

Landscape ecology introduction:
Metzger, J.P. 2001. O que é ecologia de paisagens? Biota Neotropica 1(12).
Metzger, J.P. 2006. How to deal with non-obvious rules for biodiversity conservation in fragmented landscapes? Natureza & Conservação 4(2):11-23.
Boscolo, D., Candia-Gallardo, C., Awade, M., Metzger, J.P. 2008. Importance of Interhabitat Gaps and Stepping-Stones for Lesser Woodcreepers (Xiphorhynchus fuscus) in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. Biotropica 40(3):273-276.
Fahrig, L., 2003. Effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 34:487-515.
Martensen, A.C., Pimentel, R.G., Metzger, J.P. 2008. Relative effects of fragment size and connectivity on bird community in the Atlantic Rain Forest: Implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 2184-2192.
Muchailh, M.C., Roderjan, C.V., Campos, J.B., Machado, A.L.T., Curcio, G.R. 2010. Metodologia de planejamento de paisagens fragmentadas visando a formação de corredores ecológicos. Floresta 40(1):147-162.
Ribeiro, M.C., Metzger, J.P., Marensen, A.C., Ponzoni, F., Hirota, M. 2009. Brazilian Atlantic forest: how much is left, and how is the remaining forest distributed? Implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 142:1141-1153.
Turner, M. G., Gardner, R.H., O’ Neill, R.V. 2001. Landscape ecology in theory and practice- pattern and process. Springer, USA. 401pp.