Collinearity in ecological niche modeling: Confusions and challenges
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Inst Environm
Univ Arizona, Sch Nat Resources & Environm
species distribution model
MetadataShow full item record
CitationFeng X, Park DS, Liang Y, Pandey R, Papeş M. Collinearity in ecological niche modeling: Confusions and challenges. Ecol Evol. 2019;00:1–12. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5555
JournalECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION
RightsCopyright © 2019 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractEcological niche models are widely used in ecology and biogeography. Maxent is one of the most frequently used niche modeling tools, and many studies have aimed to optimize its performance. However, scholars have conflicting views on the treatment of predictor collinearity in Maxent modeling. Despite this lack of consensus, quantitative examinations of the effects of collinearity on Maxent modeling, especially in model transfer scenarios, are lacking. To address this knowledge gap, here we quantify the effects of collinearity under different scenarios of Maxent model training and projection. We separately examine the effects of predictor collinearity, collinearity shifts between training and testing data, and environmental novelty on model performance. We demonstrate that excluding highly correlated predictor variables does not significantly influence model performance. However, we find that collinearity shift and environmental novelty have significant negative effects on the performance of model transfer. We thus conclude that (a) Maxent is robust to predictor collinearity in model training; (b) the strategy of excluding highly correlated variables has little impact because Maxent accounts for redundant variables; and (c) collinearity shift and environmental novelty can negatively affect Maxent model transferability. We therefore recommend to quantify and report collinearity shift and environmental novelty to better infer model accuracy when models are spatially and/or temporally transferred.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsUniversity of Arizona Office of Research, Discovery, and Innovation; Oklahoma State University [NSF-OCI 1126330]; University of Tennessee