Putting Evolution Into Ecological Niche Modeling

This is Nicholas J. Matzke's organizational webpage for SSB Special Symposium at Evolution 2016, entitled "Putting evolution into ecological niche modeling: Building the connection between phylogenies, paleobiology, and species distribution models."


(link to this section)

Meeting: Evolution 2016
Location: Austin, TX
Venue: Austin Convention Center
Dates: Friday, June 17-Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Website: http://www.evolutionmeetings.org/evolution-2016---austin-texas.html


(link to this section)

Symposium: SSB1
Title: Putting evolution into ecological niche modeling: Building the connection between phylogenies, paleobiology, and species distribution models
Co-organizers: Nicholas J. Matzke and Dan Warren
Date: Sunday, June 19 (morning)
Time: 8:15 am-9:45 am, 10:15-11:45 am (12 slots at 15 minutes each)
Room: Ballroom C, Theater
Summary website: http://www.evolutionmeetings.org/special-talks.html
Organizational website: http://phylo.wikidot.com/putting-evolution-into-ecological-niche-modeling


(link to this section)

Summary: Species Distribution Models (SDMs) are increasingly popular tools in ecology, conservation biology, and climate change research. They have been used in hundreds of publications (Figure 1). The most common SDM methods correlate occurrence data with environmental variables, estimating an ecological or environmental niche model (ENM). This niche model is then projected onto a map to predict species distribution (or suitable habitat). Despite their immense popularity, SDM results are often limited by several common problems. Large data sets allow complex correlational models to be fit, but these models are often over-fit, extrapolating poorly to changed environments in the past 1,2 (when predicting paleo-distributions) or present 3 (when predicting species invasions). This lowers confidence in SDMs predicted under future climate change scenarios. Also, SDMs typically assume that geographic range is wholly determined by environment, ignoring dispersal limitation and other historical biogeography processes 4,5, as well as species interactions. This means that ENMs may include some environmental variables as predictors when they are only "accidental" correlates of some other spatial process, further contributing to the overfitting problem.

The fundamental issue underlying the above difficulties is that the SDMs are typically estimated one-species-at-a-time, at one time point (the Recent). This ignores any information that might be gained from the phylogenetic relationships of species, even though phylogenetic niche conservatism appears to be common 4. It also ignores any information that might be gained from time-series data on distributions and climate. As evolutionary biologists, we should be seeking ways to make evolutionary methods and models useful to the wider scientific community, and it seems likely that by combining information on present-day niches distributions, and how niches and distributions evolved on the phylogeny, will provide both evolutionary insight and improved niche models that more robust and do better at capturing the true predictors of species ranges 4. Therefore Symposium will be devoted to "building the connection" between SDMs and phylogenies. How can we integrate phylogenetic models of niche evolution and trait evolution into the SDM estimation process? How can we better integrate paleoclimate and paleo-range data, and historical biogeography? The Symposium will solicit contributions from researchers at the forefront of relevant areas, whether or not they consider themselves "species distribution modelers" per se. For example, workers in phylogenetic comparative methods and evolutionary morphometrics will have much to contribute to the question of how niche evolution should be modeled and estimated, as do conservation biologists who take into phylogenetic relatedness and diversity 6,7, and paleobiologists who have examined the congruence of SDM predictions and fossil occurrences 1,2,8-11. All symposium speakers will be asked to connect their research to the overall question, "How can we connect phylogeny, paleobiology, and species distribution modeling?"


(link to this section)

SSB Symposium - Putting evolution into ecological niche modeling: Building the connection between phylogenies, paleobiology, and species distribution models
Sunday, June 19, 8:15 - 11:45 am, Ballroom C

Order Time Name Institution Final title

1 8:15-8:30 Nick Matzke NIMBioS at U. Tennessee, Knoxville; Australian Nat. U.
Introduction to Symposium; and phyloSDM: Bayesian hierarchical model for joint estimation of ecological niche models and niche evolution PDF link

2 8:30-9:00 Dan Warren Macquerie University
Incorporating evolutionary information into niche and distribution models: learning to love terrible SDMs

3 9:00-9:15 Erin Saupe Yale
A Tale Of Two Sisters: Ecological & Evolutionary Divergence In Geminate Species Pairs

4 9:15-9:30 Kaitlin Maguire UC Merced
The fossil record and projecting species distribution models through time

5 9:30-9:45 Jenny McGuire Georgia Tech
Evolution and epigenetics: unraveling error in niche models


7 10:15-10:30 Renee Catullo Macquerie University
Extending spatial modelling of climate change responses beyond the realized niche: estimating, and accommodating, physiological limits and adaptive evolution

8 10:30-10:45 Matt Van Dam NSF Postdoc, Munich
Environmental Niche Trackers and Nice Adapters Revealed Through Fine Scale Phenological Niche Modeling

9 10:45-11:00 Dan Rosauer Australian National University
Distribution models below the species level

10 11:00-11:15 Laura Pollock Univ. Grenoble
Protecting evolutionary history into the future

11 11:15-11:45 All presenters
Panel discussion and further questions

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License