- The topic of species distribution modelling has been on of increasing interest in
recent years. As climate change is becoming of even more interest to researchers,
more tools are needed to better analyze and predict various climate change scenarios.
One particular area of interest is that of species distribution modeling. Species
distribution modelling addresses the problem of determining either the fundamental
or the realized niche of a species, either at the current time or projecting into
the past or future. Species distribution models (SDMs) are seen as a potentially
powerful tool both for applied policy decisions like reservation design and theorectical
understanding, discovering what factors are most important in determining
the fundamental niche of a species, as well as the extent to which various factors
determine how much of that niche is realized.
Currently, almost all SDMs focus on a single species at a time. For any given
species, a model is developed and trained for that particular species. An advantage
of this approach is that is keep computational costs down relative to a broader
model. There is, however, potential in the idea that by modeling multiple species
at once, mutual information between species can be leveraged to provide more accurate
modeling while offering insights into the nature of the relationships between
specific species. This paper examines the attempt to use one such model for doing species distribution modeling on several species at once.
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