NCEAS Project 3640

Macro-ecology and biogeography: Hierarchical (Bayesian) model development using data from South Africa

  • John Silander
  • Richard M. Cowling
  • Alan E. Gelfand
  • Anthony G. Rebelo

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group10th—16th May 2001Participant List  
Working Group6th—11th December 2001Participant List  
Working Group5th—9th December 2002Participant List  
Working Group7th—11th December 2003Participant List  
Working Group1st—5th December 2004Participant List  

Members Only Area

Abstract
We propose a Working Group that will focus on developing hierarchical (Bayesian) statistical models to explain joint spatial patterns in plant species distributions (and thus diversity), using unique datasets from South Africa. The statistical models will: be individual species-based, be spatially explicit, utilize individual species attributes (including phylogenetic information), and include various explicit sources of environmental heterogeneity. The models will be hierarchical in attempting to explain joint patterns of species distributions, thus getting at diversity directly from a mechanistic perspective. We know of no other studies which have taken this approach. In building, validating and comparing the models, we have access to unique data sets from South Africa: 1) the Protea Atlas species inventory; 2) A set of explanatory GIS data layers for the Cape Floristic Region (CFR); 3) cladistic/phylogenetic data on taxa in the Proteaceae; 4) a database of up to 4000 releves from the CFR; and 5) potentially, access to a database of the distribution (at ┬┐ degree grid cells) of all 23,000 flowering plant species in Southern Africa. The CFR is one of the world's hottest hotspots of plant diversity, and the Protea Atlas dataset may be the most complete presence-absence data set for any taxonomic group across any region.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Gelfand, Alan E.; Silander, John; Wu, Shanshan; Latimer, Andrew; Lewis, Paul; Rebelo, Anthony G.; Holder, Mark. 2003. Explaining species distribution patterns through hierarchical modeling. Bayesian Analysis. Vol: 1(1). Pages 1-35.
Presentations Gelfand, Alan E.; Silander, John; Wu, Shanshan; Latimer, Andrew; Lewis, Paul; Rebelo, Anthony G.; Holder, Mark. 2003. Explaining species distribution patterns through hierarchical modelling. Invited presentation, Case Studies in Bayesian Statistics, 12-13 September 2003. Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA.
Journal Article Gelfand, Alan E.; Schmidt, Alexandra M.; Wu, Shanshan; Silander, John; Latimer, Andrew; Rebelo, Anthony G. 2005. Modelling species diversity through species level hierarchical modelling. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C-Applied Statistics. Vol: 54(1). Pages 1-20.
Journal Article Latimer, Andrew; Wu, Shanshan; Gelfand, Alan E.; Silander, John. 2006. Building statistical models to analyze species distributions. Ecological Applications. Vol: 16(1). Pages 33-50.
Journal Article Laurie, Henri; Silander, John. 2002. Geometric constraints and spatial pattern of species richness: Critique of range-based null models. Diversity and Distributions. Vol: 8. Pages 351-364.
Presentations Schmidt, Alexandra M.; Wu, Shanshan; Gelfand, Alan E.; Silander, John; Latimer, Andrew; Rebelo, Anthony G. 2002. Explaining species diversity through species level hierarchical modeling. Poster Presentation 7th Bayesian Valencia Meeting, June 2002. Tenerife, Spain.
Presentations Silander, John; Schmidt, Alexandra M.; Latimer, Andrew; Wu, Shanshan; Gelfand, Alan E.; Rebelo, Anthony G.; Cowling, Richard M. 2002. Spatial patterns of species richness and geographic ranges in Africian Proteaceae: Bayesian hierarchical models. 87th meeting of the Ecological Society of America, 4-9 August 2002. Tucson, AZ.
Presentations Silander, John; Schmidt, Alexandra M.; Latimer, Andrew; Wu, Shanshan; Gelfand, Alan E.; Rebelo, Anthony G.; Cowling, Richard M. 2003. Spatial patterns of species richness and geographic ranges in African Proteaceae: Bayesian hierarchical models. Inaugural Meeting of the International Biogeography Society, 4-8 January 2003. Mesquite, NV.
Journal Article Thuiller, Wilfried; Lavorel, Sandra; Midgley, Guy F.; Lavergne, S├ębastien; Rebelo, Anthony G. 2004. Relating plant traits and species distributions along bioclimatic gradients for 88 Leucadendron taxa. Ecology. Vol: 85(6). Pages 1688-1699.