New article: A Resource-Based Modelling Framework to Assess Habitat Suitability for Steppe Birds in Semiarid Mediterranean Agricultural Systems.

A new article has been published in PLoS ONE by ECOLAND and BACLAB members, with the collaboration of researchers from the IREC-CSIC, EEZA-CSIC, University of East Anglia and University of Lleida. In this work the authors develop a resource-based model framework to estimate habitat suitability for target species, according to simple information on species’ key resource requirements (diet, foraging habitat and nesting site), and examine whether it can be used to link land-use and local species’ distribution. The authors also compare the performance of the resource-based approach to that obtained through habitat-based models relating species’ occurrence and land-cover variables.

Habitat suitability estimates generated by the resource-based models performed similarly (and better for one study species) than habitat based-models when predicting current species distribution. Moderate prediction success was achieved for three out of four species considered by resource-based models and for two of four by habitat-based models. Although, there is potential for improving the performance of resource-based models, they provide a structure for using available knowledge of the functional links between agricultural practices, provision of key resources and the response of organisms to predict potential effects of changing land-uses in a variety of context or the impacts of changes such as altered management practices that are not easily incorporated into habitat-based models.

Reference: Cardador, L., de Cáceres, M., Bota, G., Giralt, D., Casas, F., Arroyo, B., Mougeot, F., Cantero, C., Moncunill, J., Butler, S., Brotons, Ll. (2014) A resource-based modelling framework to assess habitat suitability for steppe birds in semiarid Mediterranean agricultural systems. PlosOne. 9(3): e92790

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