Project: Geography of Demography: modeling plant population responses to global habitat patterns
Funding: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship
Timeframe: June 2015-June 2017
Host institution: Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Mentor: Prof. Yvonne Buckley
Collaborators: Prof. Antoine Guisan and Dr. Olivier Broennimann, the Spatial Ecology Lab, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Global environmental changes are causing enormous biodiversity loss, frequently referred to as the sixth mass extinction event on Earth. In this era of large-scale habitat rearrangements, ecologists need to derive global understanding of organismal responses to environmental conditions across large spatial extents. We need spatially explicit, mechanistic models of species’ persistence throughout the geographic area of distribution as well as global predictions of vulnerability to changing conditions. Over the last decades, ecologists have used correlative and process-based ecological niche models to explain the distributions of hundreds of species as a function of environmental variables. However, species distribution models do not take into account a key geographic feature known to severely alter population-environment interactions, the spatial configuration of suitable habitats. As a result, their usefulness in informing population and higher levels of ecological organization has remained weak and largely unexplored. Landscape features such as size of area occupied and large geographic barriers interact with life history, demography and organismal movement to modulate persistence patterns and as a result, forecasts of geographic distributions depend heavily on our ability to model how species interact with the landscape across large spatial extents. The project is addressing this fundamental gap in our understanding of the ecological processes defining species ranges by analysing the spatial structure of predicted distributions, with the aim of improving projections of species redistributions with global environmental changes.
- Csergő AM et al. Demographic strategies of population persistence in habitat islands (in prep.)
- Csergő AM et al. The relative effect of geographic isolation: a test on mainland and island populations (in prep.)
- Csergő AM*, Broennimann O*, Petitpierre B*, and Buckley Y*, Guisan A*, The geography of habitat suitability (in prep.)
- Broennimann O*, Csergő AM*, and Guisan A*, Buckley YM*, Global patterns in species' geographic ranges: a spatial analysis of habitat distributions (in prep.)
- Csergő AM, Salguero-Gómez R, Broennimann O, Coutts SR, Angert AL, Welk E, Bien Consortium, Guisan A, Buckley YM, Is climate suitability a useful predictor of population dynamics? (in prep. for Ecol. Lett.)
- Coutts SR, Salguero-Gómez R, Csergő AM, Buckley YM (2016), Extrapolating demography with climate, proximity and phylogeny: approach with caution Ecol. Lett. link
- Lee-Yaw, J. A., Kharouba, H. M., Bontrager, M., Mahony, C., Csergő, A. M., Noreen, A. M.E., Li, Q., Schuster, R. and Angert, A. L. (2016), A synthesis of transplant experiments and ecological niche models suggests that range limits are often niche limits. Ecol. Lett. 19: 710–722 link
This website is updated frequently as the project advances. For more information and collaboration enquiries please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.