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Use of Anecdotal Occurrence Data in Species Distribution Models: An Example Based on the White-Nosed Coati (Nasua narica) in the American Southwest.

Frey JK, Lewis JC, Guy RK, Stuart JN - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Bottom Line: We found that the predicted distribution of the coati based on datasets that included anecdotal occurrence records were similar to those based on datasets that only included physical evidence.We concluded that occurrence datasets that include anecdotal records can be used to infer species distributions, providing such data are used only for easily-identifiable species and based on robust modeling methods such as maximum entropy.Use of a reliability rating system is critical for using anecdotal data.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA. jfrey@nmsu.edu.

ABSTRACT
Species distributions are usually inferred from occurrence records. However, these records are prone to errors in spatial precision and reliability. Although influence of spatial errors has been fairly well studied, there is little information on impacts of poor reliability. Reliability of an occurrence record can be influenced by characteristics of the species, conditions during the observation, and observer's knowledge. Some studies have advocated use of anecdotal data, while others have advocated more stringent evidentiary standards such as only accepting records verified by physical evidence, at least for rare or elusive species. Our goal was to evaluate the influence of occurrence records with different reliability on species distribution models (SDMs) of a unique mammal, the white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) in the American Southwest. We compared SDMs developed using maximum entropy analysis of combined bioclimatic and biophysical variables and based on seven subsets of occurrence records that varied in reliability and spatial precision. We found that the predicted distribution of the coati based on datasets that included anecdotal occurrence records were similar to those based on datasets that only included physical evidence. Coati distribution in the American Southwest was predicted to occur in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona and was defined primarily by evenness of climate and Madrean woodland and chaparral land-cover types. Coati distribution patterns in this region suggest a good model for understanding the biogeographic structure of range margins. We concluded that occurrence datasets that include anecdotal records can be used to infer species distributions, providing such data are used only for easily-identifiable species and based on robust modeling methods such as maximum entropy. Use of a reliability rating system is critical for using anecdotal data.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Species distribution models (i.e., combined bioclimatic and biophysical ecological niche models (ENMs)) for the white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) in Arizona and New Mexico based on different subsets of occurrence records (see Table 3, Table 4): (A) very conservative, (B) best a priori, and (C) liberal.
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animals-03-00327-f002: Species distribution models (i.e., combined bioclimatic and biophysical ecological niche models (ENMs)) for the white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) in Arizona and New Mexico based on different subsets of occurrence records (see Table 3, Table 4): (A) very conservative, (B) best a priori, and (C) liberal.

Mentions: The SDMs (i.e., combined bioclimatic and biophysical ENMs) predicted occurrence of coatis primarily in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico (Figure 2). There was minor variation in the spatial models. For example, the model that visually departed from the others the most was the very conservative model, which predicted occurrence of coatis in the Arizona Central Highlands, which is a northwest trending mountainous region south of the Colorado Plateau in central Arizona. The liberal model slightly differed mainly in predicating mid elevations of mountain ranges and escarpments in southeastern New Mexico. However, percent similarity between the very conservative SDM and all other SDMs based on less reliable datasets were all very high (94% to 96.1%). In addition, the AUCs among all pair-wise comparisons of models within the bioclimatic or biophysical sets were not significantly different (P > 0.05), with exception of a comparison between the most dissimilar bioclimatic models (i.e., very conservative model versus moderate model; Z = 2.678, P = 0.008).


Use of Anecdotal Occurrence Data in Species Distribution Models: An Example Based on the White-Nosed Coati (Nasua narica) in the American Southwest.

Frey JK, Lewis JC, Guy RK, Stuart JN - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Species distribution models (i.e., combined bioclimatic and biophysical ecological niche models (ENMs)) for the white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) in Arizona and New Mexico based on different subsets of occurrence records (see Table 3, Table 4): (A) very conservative, (B) best a priori, and (C) liberal.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494388&req=5

animals-03-00327-f002: Species distribution models (i.e., combined bioclimatic and biophysical ecological niche models (ENMs)) for the white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) in Arizona and New Mexico based on different subsets of occurrence records (see Table 3, Table 4): (A) very conservative, (B) best a priori, and (C) liberal.
Mentions: The SDMs (i.e., combined bioclimatic and biophysical ENMs) predicted occurrence of coatis primarily in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico (Figure 2). There was minor variation in the spatial models. For example, the model that visually departed from the others the most was the very conservative model, which predicted occurrence of coatis in the Arizona Central Highlands, which is a northwest trending mountainous region south of the Colorado Plateau in central Arizona. The liberal model slightly differed mainly in predicating mid elevations of mountain ranges and escarpments in southeastern New Mexico. However, percent similarity between the very conservative SDM and all other SDMs based on less reliable datasets were all very high (94% to 96.1%). In addition, the AUCs among all pair-wise comparisons of models within the bioclimatic or biophysical sets were not significantly different (P > 0.05), with exception of a comparison between the most dissimilar bioclimatic models (i.e., very conservative model versus moderate model; Z = 2.678, P = 0.008).

Bottom Line: We found that the predicted distribution of the coati based on datasets that included anecdotal occurrence records were similar to those based on datasets that only included physical evidence.We concluded that occurrence datasets that include anecdotal records can be used to infer species distributions, providing such data are used only for easily-identifiable species and based on robust modeling methods such as maximum entropy.Use of a reliability rating system is critical for using anecdotal data.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA. jfrey@nmsu.edu.

ABSTRACT
Species distributions are usually inferred from occurrence records. However, these records are prone to errors in spatial precision and reliability. Although influence of spatial errors has been fairly well studied, there is little information on impacts of poor reliability. Reliability of an occurrence record can be influenced by characteristics of the species, conditions during the observation, and observer's knowledge. Some studies have advocated use of anecdotal data, while others have advocated more stringent evidentiary standards such as only accepting records verified by physical evidence, at least for rare or elusive species. Our goal was to evaluate the influence of occurrence records with different reliability on species distribution models (SDMs) of a unique mammal, the white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) in the American Southwest. We compared SDMs developed using maximum entropy analysis of combined bioclimatic and biophysical variables and based on seven subsets of occurrence records that varied in reliability and spatial precision. We found that the predicted distribution of the coati based on datasets that included anecdotal occurrence records were similar to those based on datasets that only included physical evidence. Coati distribution in the American Southwest was predicted to occur in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona and was defined primarily by evenness of climate and Madrean woodland and chaparral land-cover types. Coati distribution patterns in this region suggest a good model for understanding the biogeographic structure of range margins. We concluded that occurrence datasets that include anecdotal records can be used to infer species distributions, providing such data are used only for easily-identifiable species and based on robust modeling methods such as maximum entropy. Use of a reliability rating system is critical for using anecdotal data.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus