Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Acknowledging all of the people and institutions who have made the development of this book possible is not an easy task. That is, this book summarizes at least a decade of work by each of seven researchers, each of whom has seen significant support and encouragement from a number of sources. Certainly, then, we thank our home institutions—the University of Kansas; American Museum of Natural History; City University ...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-4

The fields of historical biogeography and ecological biogeography have long been paradoxically disparate and distant from one another, with different terminologies, different concepts, and almost nonoverlapping sets of researchers. Ecological biogeography focuses on spatial pattern in the composition and functioning of ecological communities, while historical biogeography ...

Part I: Theory

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2. Concepts of Niches

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pp. 7-22

It has often been pointed out that the term “niche” disguises several concepts under a single label (Whittaker et al. 1973, Colwell 1992, Leibold 1995, Chase and Leibold 2003, Odling-Smee et al. 2003). Some authors, perhaps overwhelmed by the broad variety and subtle shades of meaning assigned to the word, have advised that “niche is perhaps ...

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3. Niches and Geographic Distributions

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pp. 23-47

In chapter 2, we began developing and exploring a concept of niche that emphasizes multidimensional spaces of scenopoetic variables, typically measured at coarse spatial resolutions and over broad geographic extents. Such a niche concept not only has had a long and fruitful tradition in ecology, but also provides a natural connection to the study ...

Part II: Practice

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4. Niches and Distributions in Practice: Overview

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pp. 51-61

Part I of this book set out a conceptual framework for understanding relationships between niches (in environmental space, or E-space) and spatial distributions (in geographic space, or G-space). This theory forms the base for the next sections, which deal with the practice of modeling ecological niches and estimating geographic distributions (part II) and applications of these ...

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5. Species’ Occurrence Data

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pp. 62-81

Although most of biological diversity is poorly known (Wilson 1988, Erwin 1991), one commonality among species is that something is generally known about where they occur on Earth. That is, an integral part of every scientific description of a species is information about the geographic provenance of the available type specimen material ...

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6. Environmental Data

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pp. 82-96

Ecological niche models are built from two sources of input data: (1) the known occurrences of the species of interest discussed in chapter 5, and (2) environmental predictors in the form of raster-format GIS layers. Whereas the quality of and biases in occurrence data have seen considerable documentation and discussion ...

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7. Modeling Ecological Niches

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pp. 97-137

In the preceding two chapters, we discussed the biological occurrence (chapter 5) and environmental (chapter 6) data necessary for developing ecological niche models. In this chapter, we focus on how to use these data to create models that characterize species’ ecological niches in E-space (which can then be applied to and visualized in ...

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8. From Niches to Distributions

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pp. 138-149

Species’ potential geographic distributional areas Gp often differ from their occupied distributional areas Go. In this chapter, we discuss the conceptual bases for this discrepancy, and summarize methodological approaches to addressing the consequent problems. First, we discuss the meaning of the potential distribution Gp, and describe reasons ...

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9: Evaluating Model Performance and Significance

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pp. 150-181

Evaluating the predictive performance and statistical signifi cance of a model constitutes a critical phase of niche modeling, and researchers should demonstrate that their models are of suffi cient quality to meet the needs of the project at hand before using or interpreting them in any way (Peterson 2005a). In chapter 4, in the process of clarifying modeling ...

Part III: Applications

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10. Introduction to Applications

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pp. 185-188

So far in this book, we have set out a theoretical framework for modeling ecological niches and estimating a biotically suitable, potential, and occupied distributional areas (chapters 2 to 4). Then, in a more practical mode, we have described issues related to the practice of modeling, including the particulars of occurrence and environmental ...

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11. Discovering Biodiversity

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pp. 189-199

Ecological niche models may be exciting principally because they provide a predictive basis for novel inferences about biodiversity and its distribution in space, time, and environment. One way in which this predictive understanding can be put to good use is that of anticipating distributions of new elements of biodiversity (populations and species) ...

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12. Conservation Planning and Climate Change Effects

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pp. 200-214

The field of conservation biology seeks to provide scientific guidance for halting or slowing the current extinction wave and degradation of the planet’s biological diversity. To achieve this goal, conservation biologists attempt to answer fundamental questions, such as what to conserve, where best to conserve it, and how best to conserve it ...

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13. Species’ Invasions

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pp. 215-225

Invasive species are a global phenomenon with massive consequences, both in biological and economic realms (Williamson 1996, NAS 2002). In human economic arenas, invasive species affect agricultural productivity, transportation systems, communication systems, disease transmission, recreational fishing, hunting, and birdwatching, ...

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14. The Geography of Disease Transmission

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pp. 226-237

Zoonotic diseases (i.e., diseases that circulate in the animal world, occasionally affecting humans or other species of interest) are by definition a phenomenon of interactions among species. That is, the pathogen itself is a virus, bacterium, fungus, protozoan, or other small-sized species. Another (usually) larger-bodied species often serves ...

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15. Linking Niches with Evolutionary Processes

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pp. 238-255

As methods for modeling and understanding ecological niches and geographic distributions of species have become increasingly robust and well-understood, evolutionary biologists have begun to pay attention. That is because a critical dimension of the evolutionary biology of species is precisely their ecological requirements, as biogeography ...

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16. Conclusions

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pp. 256-257

This book is the result of years of discussion, debate, and exploration among seven authors, each of whom has had a distinct trajectory of research efforts that have led to an interest in species’ niches and distributions. As a consequence, this book represents a consensus, and sometimes détente, of diverse viewpoints and approaches. What ...

Appendices

Appendix A: Glossary of Symbols Used

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pp. 261-265

Appendix B: Set Theory for G-and E-Space

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pp. 266-267

Glossary

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pp. 269-280

Bibliography

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pp. 281-314