Climate Change and Biodiversity: Some Considerations in Forecasting Shifts in Species' Potential Distributions

Enrique Martinez-Meyer


Global climate change and its broad spectrum of effects on human and natural systems has become a central research topic in recent years; biodiversity informatics tools?particularly ecological niche modeling (ENM)?have been used extensively to anticipate potential effects on geographic distributions of species. Misuse of these tools, however, is counterproductive, as biased conclusions might be reached. In this paper, I discuss some issues related to niche theory, geographic distributions, data quality, and algorithms, all of which are relevant when using ENM in climate change projections for biodiversity. This assortment of opinions and ideas is presented in the hope that ENM applications to climate change questions can be made more realistic and more predictive.


climate change; ecological niche; niche modeling; geographic distribution; bioclamatic envelope

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Copyright (c) 2005 Enrique Martinez-Meyer

Biodiversity Informatics. ISSN: 1546-9735
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