Biogeographic multi-species occupancy models for large-scale survey data

Socolar, Jacob B., Mills, Simon C., Haugaasen, Torbjorn, Gilroy, James J. ORCID: and Edwards, David P. (2022) Biogeographic multi-species occupancy models for large-scale survey data. Ecology and Evolution, 12 (10). ISSN 2045-7758

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Ecologists often seek to infer patterns of species occurrence or community structure from survey data. Hierarchical models, including multi-species occupancy models (MSOMs), can improve inference by pooling information across multiple species via random effects. Originally developed for local-scale survey data, MSOMs are increasingly applied to larger spatial scales that transcend major abiotic gradients and dispersal barriers. At biogeographic scales, the benefits of partial pooling in MSOMs trade off against the difficulty of incorporating sufficiently complex spatial effects to account for biogeographic variation in occupancy across multiple species simultaneously. We show how this challenge can be overcome by incorporating preexisting range information into MSOMs, yielding a "biogeographic multi-species occupancy model" (bMSOM). We illustrate the bMSOM using two published datasets: Parulid warblers in the United States Breeding Bird Survey and entire avian communities in forests and pastures of Colombia's West Andes. Compared with traditional MSOMs, the bMSOM provides dramatically better predictive performance at lower computational cost. The bMSOM avoids severe spatial biases in predictions of the traditional MSOM and provides principled species-specific inference even for never-observed species. Incorporating preexisting range data enables principled partial pooling of information across species in large-scale MSOMs. Our biogeographic framework for multi-species modeling should be broadly applicable in hierarchical models that predict species occurrences, whether or not false absences are modeled in an occupancy framework.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Research Funding: Natural Environment Research Council. Grant Numbers: NE/R017441/1; Research Council of Norway. Grant Number: 262378; The Research Council of Norway
Uncontrolled Keywords: community model,hierarchical model,occupancy model,pooling,spatial scale,richness,size,ecology, evolution, behavior and systematics,nature and landscape conservation,ecology ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1105
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 16:32
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2022 09:30
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.9328

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