A. Townsend Peterson
Other affiliations: California Academy of Sciences, University of Chicago, Field Museum of Natural History ...read more
Bio: A. Townsend Peterson is an academic researcher from University of Kansas. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Environmental niche modelling & Ecological niche. The author has an hindex of 91, co-authored 521 publication(s) receiving 51524 citation(s). Previous affiliations of A. Townsend Peterson include California Academy of Sciences & University of Chicago.
Papers published on a yearly basis
University of Melbourne1, Stony Brook University2, City University of New York3, Princeton University4, University of Lausanne5, University of California, Berkeley6, University of Alaska Fairbanks7, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research8, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation9, University of São Paulo10, University of Missouri11, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología12, University of Kansas13, Landcare Research14, AT&T15, McGill University16, James Cook University17, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research18
TL;DR: This work compared 16 modelling methods over 226 species from 6 regions of the world, creating the most comprehensive set of model comparisons to date and found that presence-only data were effective for modelling species' distributions for many species and regions.
Abstract: Prediction of species' distributions is central to diverse applications in ecology, evolution and conservation science. There is increasing electronic access to vast sets of occurrence records in museums and herbaria, yet little effective guidance on how best to use this information in the context of numerous approaches for modelling distributions. To meet this need, we compared 16 modelling methods over 226 species from 6 regions of the world, creating the most comprehensive set of model comparisons to date. We used presence-only data to fit models, and independent presence-absence data to evaluate the predictions. Along with well-established modelling methods such as generalised additive models and GARP and BIOCLIM, we explored methods that either have been developed recently or have rarely been applied to modelling species' distributions. These include machine-learning methods and community models, both of which have features that may make them particularly well suited to noisy or sparse information, as is typical of species' occurrence data. Presence-only data were effective for modelling species' distributions for many species and regions. The novel methods consistently outperformed more established methods. The results of our analysis are promising for the use of data from museums and herbaria, especially as methods suited to the noise inherent in such data improve.
University of Leeds1, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds2, University of Cambridge3, Macquarie University4, Durham University5, University of the Witwatersrand6, Conservation International7, Stellenbosch University8, World Conservation Monitoring Centre9, National Autonomous University of Mexico10, University of Kansas11, James Cook University12
TL;DR: Estimates of extinction risks for sample regions that cover some 20% of the Earth's terrestrial surface show the importance of rapid implementation of technologies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for carbon sequestration.
Abstract: Climate change over the past approximately 30 years has produced numerous shifts in the distributions and abundances of species and has been implicated in one species-level extinction. Using projections of species' distributions for future climate scenarios, we assess extinction risks for sample regions that cover some 20% of the Earth's terrestrial surface. Exploring three approaches in which the estimated probability of extinction shows a power-law relationship with geographical range size, we predict, on the basis of mid-range climate-warming scenarios for 2050, that 15-37% of species in our sample of regions and taxa will be 'committed to extinction'. When the average of the three methods and two dispersal scenarios is taken, minimal climate-warming scenarios produce lower projections of species committed to extinction ( approximately 18%) than mid-range ( approximately 24%) and maximum-change ( approximately 35%) scenarios. These estimates show the importance of rapid implementation of technologies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for carbon sequestration.
27 Sep 2006-Journal of Biogeography
TL;DR: A novel jackknife validation approach is developed and tested to assess the ability to predict species occurrence when fewer than 25 occurrence records are available and the minimum sample sizes required to yield useful predictions remain difficult to determine.
Abstract: Aim: Techniques that predict species potential distributions by combining observed occurrence records with environmental variables show much potential for application across a range of biogeographical analyses. Some of the most promising applications relate to species for which occurrence records are scarce, due to cryptic habits, locally restricted distributions or low sampling effort. However, the minimum sample sizes required to yield useful predictions remain difficult to determine. Here we developed and tested a novel jackknife validation approach to assess the ability to predict species occurrence when fewer than 25 occurrence records are available. Location: Madagascar. Methods: Models were developed and evaluated for 13 species of secretive leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus spp.) that are endemic to Madagascar, for which available sample sizes range from 4 to 23 occurrence localities (at 1 km2 grid resolution). Predictions were based on 20 environmental data layers and were generated using two modelling approaches: a method based on the principle of maximum entropy (Maxent) and a genetic algorithm (GARP). Results: We found high success rates and statistical significance in jackknife tests with sample sizes as low as five when the Maxent model was applied. Results for GARP at very low sample sizes (less than c. 10) were less good. When sample sizes were experimentally reduced for those species with the most records, variability among predictions using different combinations of localities demonstrated that models were greatly influenced by exactly which observations were included. Main conclusions: We emphasize that models developed using this approach with small sample sizes should be interpreted as identifying regions that have similar environmental conditions to where the species is known to occur, and not as predicting actual limits to the range of a species. The jackknife validation approach proposed here enables assessment of the predictive ability of models built using very small sample sizes, although use of this test with larger sample sizes may lead to overoptimistic estimates of predictive power. Our analyses demonstrate that geographical predictions developed from small numbers of occurrence records may be of great value, for example in targeting field surveys to accelerate the discovery of unknown populations and species. © 2007 The Authors.
13 Jan 2005-Biodiversity Informatics
TL;DR: This paper outlines such a formal basis to clarify the use of techniques applied to the challenge of estimating 'ecological niches', and analyzes example situations that can be modeled using these techniques, and clarify interpretation of results.
Abstract: Estimation of the dimensions of fundamental ecological niches of species to predict their geographic distributions is increasingly being attempted in systematics, ecology, conservation, public health, etc. This technique is often (of necessity) based on data comprising records of presences only. In recent years, modeling approaches have been devised to estimate these interrelated expressions of a species' ecology, distributional biology, and evolutionary history—nevertheless, a formal basis in ecological and evolutionary theory has largely been lacking. In this paper, we outline such a formal basis to clarify the use of techniques applied to the challenge of estimating 'ecological niches;' we analyze example situations that can be modeled using these techniques, and clarify interpretation of results.
15 Apr 2003-Ecological Modelling
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors used intrinsic and extrinsic measures of model performance to determine whether optimal models can be identified based on objective intrinsic criteria, without resorting to an independent test data set.
Abstract: The Genetic Algorithm for Rule-Set Prediction (GARP) is one of several current approaches to modeling species’ distributions using occurrence records and environmental data. Because of stochastic elements in the algorithm and underdetermination of the system (multiple solutions with the same value for the optimization criterion), no unique solution is produced. Furthermore, current implementations of GARP utilize only presence data—rather than both presence and absence, the more general case. Hence, variability among GARP models, which is typical of genetic algorithms, and complications in interpreting results based on asymmetrical (presence-only) input data make model selection critical. Generally, some locality records are randomly selected to build a distributional model, with others set aside to evaluate it. Here, we use intrinsic and extrinsic measures of model performance to determine whether optimal models can be identified based on objective intrinsic criteria, without resorting to an independent test data set. We modeled potential distributions of two rodents ( Heteromys anomalus and Microryzomys minutus ) and one passerine bird ( Carpodacus mexicanus ), creating 20 models for each species. For each model, we calculated intrinsic and extrinsic measures of omission and commission error, as well as composite indices of overall error. Although intrinsic and extrinsic composite measures of overall model performance were sometimes loosely related to each other, none was consistently associated with expert-judged model quality. In contrast, intrinsic and extrinsic measures were highly correlated for both omission and commission in the two widespread species ( H. anomalus and C. mexicanus ). Furthermore, a clear inverse relationship existed between omission and commission there, and the best models were consistently found at low levels of omission and moderate-to-high commission values. In contrast, all models for M. minutus showed low values of both omission and commission. Because models are based only on presence data (and not all areas are adequately sampled), the commission index reflects not only true commission error but also a component that results from undersampled areas that the species actually inhabits. We here propose an operational procedure for determining an optimal region of the omission/commission relationship and thus selecting high-quality GARP models. Our implementation of this technique for H. anomalus gave a much more reasonable estimation of the species’ potential distribution than did the original suite of models. These findings are relevant to evaluation of other distributional-modeling techniques based on presence-only data and should also be considered with other machine-learning applications modified for use with asymmetrical input data.
TL;DR: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols used xiii 1.
Abstract: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols Used xiii 1. The Importance of Islands 3 2. Area and Number of Speicies 8 3. Further Explanations of the Area-Diversity Pattern 19 4. The Strategy of Colonization 68 5. Invasibility and the Variable Niche 94 6. Stepping Stones and Biotic Exchange 123 7. Evolutionary Changes Following Colonization 145 8. Prospect 181 Glossary 185 References 193 Index 201
25 Jan 2006-Ecological Modelling
TL;DR: In this paper, the use of the maximum entropy method (Maxent) for modeling species geographic distributions with presence-only data was introduced, which is a general-purpose machine learning method with a simple and precise mathematical formulation.
Abstract: The availability of detailed environmental data, together with inexpensive and powerful computers, has fueled a rapid increase in predictive modeling of species environmental requirements and geographic distributions. For some species, detailed presence/absence occurrence data are available, allowing the use of a variety of standard statistical techniques. However, absence data are not available for most species. In this paper, we introduce the use of the maximum entropy method (Maxent) for modeling species geographic distributions with presence-only data. Maxent is a general-purpose machine learning method with a simple and precise mathematical formulation, and it has a number of aspects that make it well-suited for species distribution modeling. In order to investigate the efficacy of the method, here we perform a continental-scale case study using two Neotropical mammals: a lowland species of sloth, Bradypus variegatus, and a small montane murid rodent, Microryzomys minutus. We compared Maxent predictions with those of a commonly used presence-only modeling method, the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-Set Prediction (GARP). We made predictions on 10 random subsets of the occurrence records for both species, and then used the remaining localities for testing. Both algorithms provided reasonable estimates of the species’ range, far superior to the shaded outline maps available in field guides. All models were significantly better than random in both binomial tests of omission and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was almost always higher for Maxent, indicating better discrimination of suitable versus unsuitable areas for the species. The Maxent modeling approach can be used in its present form for many applications with presence-only datasets, and merits further research and development. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
TL;DR: It is suggested that the natural selection against large insertion/deletion is so weak that a large amount of variation is maintained in a population.
Abstract: The relationship between the two estimates of genetic variation at the DNA level, namely the number of segregating sites and the average number of nucleotide differences estimated from pairwise comparison, is investigated. It is found that the correlation between these two estimates is large when the sample size is small, and decreases slowly as the sample size increases. Using the relationship obtained, a statistical method for testing the neutral mutation hypothesis is developed. This method needs only the data of DNA polymorphism, namely the genetic variation within population at the DNA level. A simple method of computer simulation, that was used in order to obtain the distribution of a new statistic developed, is also presented. Applying this statistical method to the five regions of DNA sequences in Drosophila melanogaster, it is found that large insertion/deletion (greater than 100 bp) is deleterious. It is suggested that the natural selection against large insertion/deletion is so weak that a large amount of variation is maintained in a population.
TL;DR: The Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis by Sampling Trees (BEAST) software package version 1.7 is presented, which implements a family of Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms for Bayesian phylogenetic inference, divergence time dating, coalescent analysis, phylogeography and related molecular evolutionary analyses.
Abstract: Computational evolutionary biology, statistical phylogenetics and coalescent-based population genetics are becoming increasingly central to the analysis and understanding of molecular sequence data. We present the Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis by Sampling Trees (BEAST) software package version 1.7, which implements a family of Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms for Bayesian phylogenetic inference, divergence time dating, coalescent analysis, phylogeography and related molecular evolutionary analyses. This package includes an enhanced graphical user interface program called Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis Utility (BEAUti) that enables access to advanced models for molecular sequence and phenotypic trait evolution that were previously available to developers only. The package also provides new tools for visualizing and summarizing multispecies coalescent and phylogeographic analyses. BEAUti and BEAST 1.7 are open source under the GNU lesser general public license and available at http://beast-mcmc.googlecode.com and http://beast.bio.ed.ac.uk
TL;DR: Range-restricted species, particularly polar and mountaintop species, show severe range contractions and have been the first groups in which entire species have gone extinct due to recent climate change.
Abstract: Ecological changes in the phenology and distribution of plants and animals are occurring in all well-studied marine, freshwater, and terrestrial groups These observed changes are heavily biased in the directions predicted from global warming and have been linked to local or regional climate change through correlations between climate and biological variation, field and laboratory experiments, and physiological research Range-restricted species, particularly polar and mountaintop species, show severe range contractions and have been the first groups in which entire species have gone extinct due to recent climate change Tropical coral reefs and amphibians have been most negatively affected Predator-prey and plant-insect interactions have been disrupted when interacting species have responded differently to warming Evolutionary adaptations to warmer conditions have occurred in the interiors of species’ ranges, and resource use and dispersal have evolved rapidly at expanding range margins Observed genetic shifts modulate local effects of climate change, but there is little evidence that they will mitigate negative effects at the species level