Biological invasions are one of the major threats to biodiversity, especially in oceanic islands. In the Canary Islands, the relationships between plant Alien Species Richness (ASR) and their environmental and anthropogenic determinants were thoroughly investigated using ecological models. However, previous predictive models rarely accounted for spatial autocorrelation (SAC) and uncertainty of predictions, thus missing crucial information related to model accuracy and predictions reliability. In this study, we propose a Generalized Linear Spatial Model (GLSM) for ASR under a Bayesian framework on Tenerife Island. Our aim is to test whether the inclusion of SAC into the modelling framework could improve model performance resulting in more reliable predictions. Results demonstrated as accounting for SAC dramatically reduced the model's AIC (ΔAIC = 4423) and error magnitudes, showing also better performances in terms of goodness of fit. Calculation of uncertainty related to predicted values pointed out those areas where either the number of observations (e.g. under-sampled areas) or the reliability of the environmental predictors was lower (e.g. low spatial resolution in highly heterogeneous environments). Although our results confirmed what was already observed in other ecological studies, such as the important role of roads in ASR spread, methodological considerations on the applied modelling approach point out the importance of considering spatial autocorrelation and researcher's prior knowledge to increase the predictive power of statistical models as well as the correctness in terms of coefficients estimates. The proposed approach may serve as an essential management tools highlighting those portions of territory that will be more prone to biological invasions and where monitoring efforts should be addressed

Da Re, D.; Tordoni, E.; Negrín Pérez, Z.; Fernández-Palacios, J.M.; Arévalo, J.R.; Otto, R.; Rocchini, D.; Bacaro, G. (2019). A spatially-explicit model of alien plant richness in Tenerife (Canary Islands). ECOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY, 38: 75-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ecocom.2019.03.002 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/54908

A spatially-explicit model of alien plant richness in Tenerife (Canary Islands)

Rocchini, D.;
2019-01-01

Abstract

Biological invasions are one of the major threats to biodiversity, especially in oceanic islands. In the Canary Islands, the relationships between plant Alien Species Richness (ASR) and their environmental and anthropogenic determinants were thoroughly investigated using ecological models. However, previous predictive models rarely accounted for spatial autocorrelation (SAC) and uncertainty of predictions, thus missing crucial information related to model accuracy and predictions reliability. In this study, we propose a Generalized Linear Spatial Model (GLSM) for ASR under a Bayesian framework on Tenerife Island. Our aim is to test whether the inclusion of SAC into the modelling framework could improve model performance resulting in more reliable predictions. Results demonstrated as accounting for SAC dramatically reduced the model's AIC (ΔAIC = 4423) and error magnitudes, showing also better performances in terms of goodness of fit. Calculation of uncertainty related to predicted values pointed out those areas where either the number of observations (e.g. under-sampled areas) or the reliability of the environmental predictors was lower (e.g. low spatial resolution in highly heterogeneous environments). Although our results confirmed what was already observed in other ecological studies, such as the important role of roads in ASR spread, methodological considerations on the applied modelling approach point out the importance of considering spatial autocorrelation and researcher's prior knowledge to increase the predictive power of statistical models as well as the correctness in terms of coefficients estimates. The proposed approach may serve as an essential management tools highlighting those portions of territory that will be more prone to biological invasions and where monitoring efforts should be addressed
Bayesian modelling
Biodiversity
Biogeography
Biological invasions
Geostatistics
Settore BIO/03 - BOTANICA AMBIENTALE E APPLICATA
Da Re, D.; Tordoni, E.; Negrín Pérez, Z.; Fernández-Palacios, J.M.; Arévalo, J.R.; Otto, R.; Rocchini, D.; Bacaro, G. (2019). A spatially-explicit model of alien plant richness in Tenerife (Canary Islands). ECOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY, 38: 75-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ecocom.2019.03.002 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/54908
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