This course will teach you the base theory of ecological niche modelling and its main methodologies. By the end of this 5-day practical course, you will have the capacity to perform ecological niche models and understand their results. You will be able to choose and apply the correct methodology depending in the aim of your study and type of datasets.
Ecological niche, species distribution, habitat distribution, or climatic envelope models are different names for similar mechanistic or correlative models, empirical or mathematical approaches to the ecological niche of a species, where different types of ecogeographical variables (environmental, topographical, human) are related with species physiological data or geographical locations, in order to identify the factors limiting and defining the species’ niche. ENMs have become popular due to the need for efficiency in the design and implementation of conservation management.
The course will be mainly practical, with some theoretical lectures. All modelling processes and calculations will be performed with R, the free software environment for statistical computing and graphics (http://www.r-project.org/). Students will learn to use modelling algorithms like Maxent, Bioclim, Domain, and logistic regressions, and R packages for computing ENMs like Dismo and Biomod2. Also, students will learn to compare different ecological niche models with Ecospat package.
This course is orientated to PhD and MSc students, as well as other students and researchers working on biogeography, spatial ecology, or related disciplines.
Basic knowledge in Geographical Information Systems and R statistical package is necessary. All participants must bring their own personal laptop.
- Introduction to ENM theory.
- Problems on ENM + ENM methods.
- Conceptual and practice steps to calculate ENM.
- Applications of ENMs.
- Preparing variables.
- Dismo practice.
- Biomod practice.
- Maxent practice.
- SDM practice.
- Students’ talks.
- Final practice.