Browsing by Subject "habitat suitability"

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  • Virkkala, Raimo; Leikola, Niko; Kujala, Heini; Kivinen, Sonja; Hurskainen, Pekka; Kuusela, Saija; Valkama, Jari; Heikkinen, Risto K. (Wiley, 2022)
    Ecological Applications
    The use of indicator species in forest conservation and management planning can facilitate enhanced preservation of biodiversity from the negative effects of forestry and other uses of land. However, this requires detailed and spatially comprehensive knowledge of the habitat preferences and distributions of selected focal indicator species. Unfortunately, due to limited resources for field surveys, only a small proportion of the occurrences of focal species is usually known. This shortcoming can be circumvented by using modeling techniques to predict the spatial distribution of suitable sites for the target species. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) and other remote sensing (RS) techniques have the potential to provide useful environmental data covering systematically large areas for these purposes. Here, we focused on six bird of prey and woodpecker species known to be good indicators of boreal forest biodiversity values. We used known nest sites of the six indicator species based on nestling ringing records. Thus, the most suitable nesting sites of these species provide important information for biodiversity-friendly forest management and conservation planning. We developed fine-grained, that is, 96 × 96 m grid cell resolution, predictive maps across the whole of Finland of the suitable nesting habitats based on ALS and other RS data and spatial information on the distribution of important forest stands for the six studied biodiversity indicator bird species based on nesting-habitat suitability modeling, that is, the MaxEnt model. Habitat preferences of the study species, as determined by MaxEnt, were in line with the previous knowledge of species-habitat relations. The proportion of suitable habitats of these species in protected areas (PAs) was considerable, but our analysis also revealed many potentially high-quality forest stands outside PAs. However, many of these sites are increasingly threatened by logging because of increased pressures for using forests for bioeconomy and forest industry based on National Forest Strategy. Predicting habitat suitability based on information on the nest sites of indicator species provides a new tool for systematic conservation planning over large areas in boreal forests in Europe, and a corresponding approach would also be feasible and recommendable elsewhere where similar data are available.
  • Zhang, Zhixin; Kass, Jamie M.; Mammola, Stefano; Koizumi, Itsuro; Li, Xuecao; Tanaka, Kazunori; Ikeda, Kousuke; Suzuki, Toru; Yokota, Masashi; Usio, Nisikawa (2021)
    Aim As climate change presents a major threat to biodiversity in the next decades, it is critical to assess its impact on species habitat suitability to inform biodiversity conservation. Species distribution models (SDMs) are a widely used tool to assess climate change impacts on species' geographical distributions. As the name of these models suggests, the species level is the most commonly used taxonomic unit in SDMs. However, recently it has been demonstrated that SDMs considering taxonomic resolution below (or above) the species level can make more reliable predictions of biodiversity change when different populations exhibit local adaptation. Here, we tested this idea using the Japanese crayfish (Cambaroides japonicus), a threatened species encompassing two geographically structured and phylogenetically distinct genetic lineages. Location Northern Japan. Methods We first estimated niche differentiation between the two lineages of C. japonicus using n-dimensional hypervolumes and then made climate change predictions of habitat suitability using SDMs constructed at two phylogenetic levels: species and intraspecific lineage. Results Our results showed only intermediate niche overlap, demonstrating measurable niche differences between the two lineages. The species-level SDM made future predictions that predicted much broader and severe impacts of climate change. However, the lineage-level SDMs led to reduced climate change impacts overall and also suggested that the eastern lineage may be more resilient to climate change than the western one. Main conclusions The two lineages of C. japonicus occupy different niche spaces. Compared with lineage-level models, species-level models can overestimate climate change impacts. These results not only have important implications for designing future conservation strategies for this threatened species, but also highlight the need for incorporating genetic information into SDMs to obtain realistic predictions of biodiversity change.
  • Zhang, Zhixin; Mammola, Stefano; Xian, Weiwei; Zhang, Hui (2020)
    Aim Species distribution models (SDMs) are an effective tool to explore the potential distribution of terrestrial, freshwater and marine organisms; however, SDMs have been seldom used to model ichthyoplankton distributions, and thus, our understanding of how larval stages of fishes will respond to climate change is still limited. Here, we developed SDMs to explore potential impacts of climate change on habitat suitability of ichthyoplankton. Location Yangtze Estuary, China. Methods Using long-term ichthyoplankton survey data and a large set of marine predictor variables, we developed ensemble SDMs for five abundant ichthyoplankton species in the Yangtze Estuary (Coilia mystus, Hypoatherina valenciennei, Larimichthys polyactis, Salanx ariakensis and Chelidonichthys spinosus). Then, we projected their habitat suitability under present and future climate conditions. Results The ensemble SDMs had good predictive performance and were successful in estimating the known distributions of the five species. Model projections highlighted two contrasting patterns of response to future climates: while C. mystus will likely expand its range, the ranges of the other four species will likely contract and shift northward. Main conclusions According to our SDM projections, the five ichthyoplankton species that we tested in the Yangtze Estuary are likely to respond differently to future climate changes. These projected different responses seemingly reflect the differential functional attributes and life-history strategies of these species. To the extent that climate change emerges as a critical driver of the future distribution of these species, our findings provide an important roadmap for designing future conservation strategies for ichthyoplankton in this region.