Testing the efficacy of downscaling in species distribution modelling: a comparison between MaxEnt and Favourability Function models

Olivero, J.  Toxopeus, A. G.  Skidmore, A. K.  Real, R. 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2016.39.0099

Abstract

Statistical downscaling is used to improve the knowledge of spatial distributions from broad–scale to fine–scale maps with higher potential for conservation planning. We assessed the effectiveness of downscaling in two commonly used species distribution models: Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) and the Favourability Function (FF). We used atlas data (10 x 10 km) of the fire salamander Salamandra salamandra distribution in southern Spain to derive models at a 1 x 1 km resolution. Downscaled models were assessed using an independent dataset of the species’ distribution at 1 x 1 km. The Favourability model showed better downscaling performance than the MaxEnt model, and the models that were based on linear combinations of environmental variables performed better than models allowing higher flexibility. The Favourability model minimized model overfitting compared to the MaxEnt model.

Key words

Datos de atlas de distribución, Transferibilidad de modelos, Modelo de favorabilidad, Máxima entropía, Sobreajuste, Salamandra salamandra, Atlas distribution data, Model transferability, Favourability model, Maximum entropy, Overfitting, Salamandra salamandra

Reception date: 10 IX 15  |   Acceptation date: 24 XI 15  |   Publication date: 16 III 16

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