Skip to Main Content
Probabilistic accounting of uncertainty in forecasts of species distributions under climate changeAuthor(s): Seth J. Wenger; Nicholas A. Som; Daniel C. Dauwalter; Daniel J. Isaak; Helen M. Neville; Charles H. Luce; Jason B. Dunham; Michael K. Young; Kurt D. Fausch; Bruce E. Rieman
Source: Global Change Biology. Accepted paper. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12294.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (674.17 KB)
DescriptionForecasts of species distributions under future climates are inherently uncertain, but there have been few attempts to describe this uncertainty comprehensively in a probabilistic manner. We developed a Monte Carlo approach that accounts for uncertainty within generalized linear regression models (parameter uncertainty and residual error), uncertainty among competing models (model uncertainty), and uncertainty in future climate conditions (climate uncertainty) to produce site-specific frequency distributions of occurrence probabilities across a species' range. We illustrated the method by forecasting suitable habitat for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in the Interior Columbia River Basin, USA, under recent and projected 2040s and 2080s climate conditions. The 95% interval of total suitable habitat under recent conditions was estimated at 30.1 to 42.5 thousand km; this was predicted to decline to 0.5 to 7.9 thousand km by the 2080s. Projections for the 2080s showed that the great majority of stream segments would be unsuitable with high certainty, regardless of the climate dataset or bull trout model employed. The largest contributor to uncertainty in total suitable habitat was climate uncertainty, followed by parameter uncertainty and model uncertainty. Our approach makes it possible to calculate a full distribution of possible outcomes for a species, and permits ready graphical display of uncertainty for individual locations and of total habitat.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationWenger, Seth J.; Som, Nicholas A.; Dauwalter, Daniel C.; Isaak, Daniel J.; Neville, Helen M.; Luce, Charles H.; Dunham, Jason B.; Young, Michael K.; Fausch, Kurt D.; Rieman, Bruce E. 2013. Probabilistic accounting of uncertainty in forecasts of species distributions under climate change. Global Change Biology. Accepted paper. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12294.
Keywordsspecies distribution model, GLM, ensemble, bull trout, Salvelinus confluentus, suitable habitat, model uncertainty
- Anticipated climate warming effects on bull trout habitats and populations across the interior Columbia River basin
- Physical, biotic, and sampling influences on diel habitat use by stream-dwelling bull trout
- Comparison of day snorkeling, night snorkeling, and electrofishing to estimate bull trout abundance and size structure in a second-order Idaho stream
XML: View XML