Predictive Species and Habitat Modeling in Landscape Ecology
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Most projects in Landscape Ecology, at some point, define a species-habitat association. These models are inherently spatial, dealing with landscapes and their configurations. Whether coding behavioral rules for dispersal of simulated organisms through simulated landscapes, or designing the sampling extent of field surveys and experiments in real landscapes, landscape ecologists must make assumptions about how organisms experience and utilize the landscape. These convenient working postulates allow modelers to project the model in time and space, yet rarely are they explicitly considered. The early years of landscape ecology necessarily focused on the evolution of effective data sources, metrics, and statistical approaches that could truly capture the spatial and temporal patterns and processes of interest. Now that these tools are well established, we reflect on the ecological theories that underpin the assumptions commonly made during species distribution modeling and mapping. This is crucial for applying models to questions of global sustainability. Due to the inherent use of GIS for much of this kind of research, and as several authors' research involves the production of multicolored map figures, there would be an 8-page color insert. Additional color figures could be made available through a digital archive, or by cost contributions of the chapter authors. Where applicable, would be relevant chapters' GIS data and model code available through a digital archive. The practice of data and code sharing is becoming standard in GIS studies, is an inherent method of this book, and will serve to add additional research value to the book for both academic and practitioner audiences.