New publication in Conservation Biology by Heather Welch on validating decision support tools

A new paper by Heather Welch titled “Decision support tools for dynamic management” in Conservation Biology highlights the role of decision support tools when integrating multiple species distribution models into a management tool. For example, the question being asked is critically important in the tool design. The algebraic formulation for EcoCast, is highly relative and scales geometrically while Marxan can have exponential relationships because of the algorithm used to ensure a certain percentage of habitat is ultimately protected. It is another good example of where there is no one size fits all approach towards tool building for multiple management goals.

Figure 3. Effect of changing management priorities for leatherback turtles and swordfish on EcoCast (top row) and Marxan (bottom row) tool outputs relative to species habitat suitability. Curves show generalized additive models fit to each weighting run.

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New publication from Dr. Steph Brodie on “Trade-offs in covariate selection for species distribution models: a methodological comparison” in Ecography

Dr. Brodie’s new paper reveals trade-offs in species distribution modeling between accurately estimating species abundance, spatial patterns, and underlying species~environment relationships. The short answer, is there is no one best tool and choosing the right tool depends on your modeling goals. I still refer frequently to Elith et al. 2006 as a good lesson on which models are best reproducing spatial patterning, but Steph’s paper highlights that pattern is only part of the process, particularly when modeling for fisheries management.

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