Article: article from journal or magazin.
Combining food web and species distribution models for improved community projections
Ecology and Evolution
The ability to model biodiversity patterns is of prime importance in this era of severe environmental crisis. Species assemblage along environmental gradient is subject to the interplay of biotic interactions in complement to abiotic environmental filtering. Accounting for complex biotic interactions for a wide array of species remains so far challenging. Here, we propose to use food web models that can infer the potential interaction links between species as a constraint in species distribution models. Using a plant-herbivore (butterfly) interaction dataset, we demonstrate that this combined approach is able to improve both species distribution and community forecasts. Most importantly, this combined approach is very useful in rendering models of more generalist species that have multiple potential interaction links, where gap in the literature may be recurrent. Our combined approach points a promising direction forward to model the spatial variation of entire species interaction networks. Our work has implications for studies of range shifting species and invasive species biology where it may be unknown how a given biota might interact with a potential invader or in future climate.
Biotic interactions, ecological niche modelling, phylogeny, plant-herbivore interactions, trophic network
Web of science
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