A Virtual Museum on the State's Fish Biodiversity

SDM Background and Literature

Advances in information technology and worldwide efforts to compile, digitize, and make biodiversity data available (e.g., NatureServe [www.natureserve.org], Global Biodiversity Information Facility [www.gbif.org]) have recently improved our perception of the diverse scales of anthropogenic alteration of the environment. Simultaneously, development of new tools and techniques help summarize and utilize these biodiversity datasets. Species distribution modeling (SDM) is one such tool that is increasingly used in many disciplines, including applied fields of systematic conservation planning, climate change studies, disease ecology (Sarkar et al. 2010, Peterson et al. 2008, Gonzales et al. 2010, Moffett et al. 2007), and invasive species research.

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Our recent publication (Labay et al. 2011) demonstrates a probabilistic approach to fill gaps in existing collection data as a means to establish historical baseline conditions. The number of publications on SDM’s utility in the field of conservation have increased recently, and include applications towards invasive plant spread (Merow et al. 2011), mammalian conservation (Lopez-Arevalo et al. 2011), fish species conservation (Sindt et al. 2011), conservation planning protocols (Lawler et al. 2011; Carvalho et al. 2011), forest management (Falk & Mellert 2011), and species or system response to climate change (Graham et al. 2011; Falk & Mellert 2011). We are encouraged by the continued growth and utility of this tool for use in conservation, and have intentions of continuing research with these models to further our understanding about stream fishes in Texas.

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Figure 1.

Percentage growth from 2002 to 2010 of peer-reviewed literature in ecology in general and species distribution or ecological niche modeling specifically.

Data obtained by searching papers indexed by BIOSIS Previews by topic with general ecology indicated by topic = "ecolog*" and ecological niche modeling with topic = "ecologi* niche model*" or topic = "species distribution model*".