Process, correlation and parameter fitting in species distribution models: a response to Kriticos et al.

Last year, I blogged about “Correlation and process in species distribution models: bridging a dichotomy”, a paper that we published in a recent special issue of the Journal of Biogeography. Broadly speaking, the paper discusses properties and issues around different approaches to modeling species distributions, with a focus on the extent to which those models…

Correlation and process in species distribution models: bridging a dichotomy

In a new study led by Carsten Dormann and Stanislaus Schymanski which I coauthored, we look at differences, but also at growing similarities between rather static/statistical/correlative and rather dynamic/process-based approaches to species distribution modeling. I think this is an interesting paper which touches upon a lot of issues that arise from the fact that classical…

Responses of Late Quaternary megafauna to climate and humans

In a proverbial “mammoth project”, Lorenzen and colleagues report in this weeks issue of Nature on the responses of six Late Quaternary megafauna herbivores (woolly rhinoceros, woolly mammoth, horse, reindeer/caribou, bison and musk ox) to climate and humans. The authors draw on various data sources, in particular species distribution models and ancient DNA, to “reconstruct…

Controversy about species-area versus endemics-area relationships for calculating extinction rates

I’m lagging a little behind the news, but maybe it’s also an advantage to write about this issue after the first smoke has cleared. The topic is a paper by Fangliang He and Stephen Hubbell that appeared in Nature two weeks ago and that has sparked considerable controversy. Basically, the authors claim that “conventional” extinction…