The dynamics of species populations, i.e. the variation of species geographic distributions and abundances in space and time, represent one of the most fundamental aspects of biodiversity and its change. Decreases in the sizes of populations and contractions in the distribution of species result in the loss of potentially significant functions from communities and ecosystems, and in extreme cases may cause their global extinction. Conversely, expanding or shifting populations translate in the perturbation of existing or invasion of new communities, both with multifold consequences for ecosystems. Changes in the occurrence or abundance of species are thus key drivers of changes in ecosystem function and services. When related to information on patterns of environmental change, spatiotemporal data on species populations can inform about the putative causes of biodiversity and ecosystem change. In the context of resource management and conservation, species population data supports spatially explicit planning, risk and threat analysis, and the assessment of management outcomes.

Developing the species distribution EBV with data and models (from WG MS in prep.)
About Species Populations WG
Co-Leads

Walter Jetz
Yale University

Melodie McGeoch
Monash University
Key objectives
  1. Advance concepts and methodology for a generalizable capture of the distributions and abundances of species in space and time from regional to global scales
  2. Advance the distribution and abundance data integration through the development of standards, models, and infrastructure.
  3. Document key data and knowledge gaps and develop mechanisms to support the community in mobilizing data to help close them
  4. Support the development of example applications of the species population EBV for policy and management across local to national and global scales
Activities
1. Methods, models, scales, uncertainty
Leads Bill Kunin, Cory Merow (tbc)
Team Antoine Guisan, Yoni Gavish, Petr Keil, Aidin Niamir, Carsten Meyer, Manuela D’Amen, Jorge Ahumada, Melodie McGeoch
Development approach Data Mobilization, Modelling
EBVs Species Distribution, Population Abundance
Description A first project area will develop key explorations regarding methodological aspects of the SD EBV and the goal of modelling best-possible realized species distributions. This group will engage closely with the more empirically focused projects and use their and other datasets to address the following example questions:

  • How does scale (spatial grain of sampling or reporting units) affect SD EBV capture and metrics?
  • Which modelling approaches are ideal for a given combination of data types, for specific taxa, which are most generally suited overall?
  • How can uncertainty be accounted for, propagated into SD EBV predictions?
  • How can spatial and environmental data gaps, and their underlying socioeconomic drivers, be better accounted for in species distribution predictions?
  • How can biotic information be included in predictions?
  • How can available abundance help inform the SD EBV?
Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables Workshop Workshop
Resources NASA AIST (informatics) grant awarded.
Link with other WG, BONs, TF This activity will support the activities SP4. to SP7. (“SD EBV strategic applications”).
2. Completing, visualizing, and communicating the SD EBV
Leads TBD
Team Carsten Meyer, Ingolf Kuhn, Walter Jetz, Simon Ferrier, Rob Guralnick, Melodie McGeoch, Tatsuya Amano
Development approach Data mobilization, Modelling
EBVs Species Distribution
Description This project will advance populations EBV capture in practice, with particular focus on the SD EBV, and develop software and workflows to integrate and communicate these variables. Including taxon experts and data partners across terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms, this project will

  • explore the availability of different data types for different regions and taxa,
  • quantify and visualize data gaps,
  • explore the aggregation of SD EBV to other compound change metrics (e.g. temporal changes in assemblage attributes such as species richness),
  • advance infrastructure addressing global, integrated species distributions to demonstrate the development and communication of the SD EBV in practice,
  • and develop effective visualizations for communicating SD EBV trends.
Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables MS: Conceptualizing the SD EBV Submission summer 2017 Workshop, Project: Conceptualizing the SP EBV. Tools for BON in a Box inclusion
Resources
Link with other activities Support from and/or collaboration with EBV Data Task Force, National, Regional and Thematic BONs.
3. Example implementations and use cases
Leads TBD
Team Eric Le Tortorec, Eugenie Regan, Chhaya Chaudhary, Mark Costello, Eren Turak, Sami Domisch, Dirk Schmeller, Haigen Xu, Walter Jetz
Development Approach Data mobilization, Modelling, Application
EBVs Species Distribution
Description This project will develop example applications and uses cases of the SD and PA EBVs. While the efforts envisioned here will often address a specific question or hypotheses, the specific applications are not of the overarching nature as the strategic applications listed below (but some of them may well grow into that stature). The overarching goal of this project is to demonstrate the SD EBV for very specific cases
(region-taxon combinations) that are driven by different questions or motivations and additionally vary in data availability, complexity, and realm. We have to date discussed the following examples or comparisons:

  • Dedicated example implementations for freshwater, marine, and different terrestrial biomes
  • A comparison of SD EBV results across freshwater, marine, and terrestrial for different taxa
  • Migrants in all three realms as a particularly interesting test case
  • Contrasting SD EBV outcomes for poorly and well-sampled taxa
  • Comparing privately vs. publicly held datasets in their SD EBV contributions.
Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables Workshop, Prototype implementations 3-5 strong use cases completed; linked to BON in Box, national BONs
Resources
Link with other activities Support from and/or collaboration with Thematic BONs.
4. Implementing essential variables for invasion monitoring
Leads Melodie McGeoch, John Wilson, Greg Ruiz
Team Peter Bellingham, Quentin Groom, John Wilson, Diana Bowler, Livia Schaeffler, Daniel Kissling, Aidin Niamir, Marten Winter, Walter Jetz, Rob Guralnick, Eric Le Tortorec, Alex Hardisty, Kristen Williams, Donald Hobern, Rebecca Pirzl, Lee Belbin, Daniel Kissling, Miles
Nicholls, Nick dos Remedios, Shyama Pagad, Piero Genovesi, Ingolf Kuhn, Maria Londono
Development Approach Data mobilization, Modelling, Application
EBVs Species Distribution, Population Abundance
Description This activity will include conceptual development, a focus on country BONs, workflows and infrastructure to support applications, and development of novel indicators for alien and invasive species. Its aims include

  • Using an invasive species exemplar based on GBIF and ALA data to determine what is required from the process, workflow and associated informatics/ICTs (Hardisty et al.)
  • Extend the outputs of implementing species population EBVs to structure observation systems that seek to inform conservation measures.
  • Build on the work of Global Naturalised Alien Flora (GLoNAF) and the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group (Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species) to develop the links between EBVs to deliver novel indicators of biological invasion for estimating and monitoring invasion-relevant trends.
  • Use test case countries to demonstrate the application of the global vision of invasion monitoring using EVs.
  • Advance information platforms to accommodate the multiple EBV and multiple information types required for invasion policy and management.
  • Demonstration of the value and power of good quality spp distribution data.
Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables Workshop at CSIRO January 2017 BON Development Meeting in Stanford – March 2017 Workshop, Dashboard prototype implementation. Workshop, Publication BON in a Box outputs
Resources
Link with other activities Activity SP5. GLoBIS B Project (European Commission Funded, Project Horizon 2020, Project Task 3.3) Support from and/or collaboration with National, Regional and Thematic BONs.
5. Known-unknowns for alien and invasive species distributions
Leads Carsten Meyer, Gregory Ruiz
Team Aidin Niamir, Melodie McGeoch, Quentin Groom, GBIF DFFU_IAS Task Group, Mark Costello, Marten Winter, Franz Essl, Tiffany Knight
Development Approach Data mobilization, Modelling, Application
EBVs Species Distribution
Description This project will conduct a gap analysis to quantify the adequacy of occurrence data for alien and invasive species, with the purpose of establishing priorities to improve data quality and outputs for end users. Further chapters of the PhD thesis supporting this activity (e.g related to alien distribution modelling) will depend on skills and interests of the student.
Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables Recruitment of the PhD student.
Resources PhD grant funded through iDiv Flexpool.
Link with other activities Activity SP4.
6. Distribution and population changes in rare species
Leads Walter Jetz, Hjalmar Kuhl (TBC)
Team Petr Keil, Jon Paul Rodriguez, Marta Jarzyna, Antoine Guisan, Mark Costello, Tatsuya Amano
Development Approach Data mobilization, Modelling, Application
EBVs Species Distribution, Population Abundance
Description A key innovation envisioned for the remote-sensing supported SD EBV predictions is the cross- and fine-scale capture of potential changes in species distributions over relatively short, e.g. annual time scales. This provides an important complement to expert-based evaluations of changes in species threat status that are temporally more coarsely resolved. In this strategic application, we will target a suite of species worldwide that are of particular conservation interest, e.g. due to their rarity, and that offer data that are sufficient, if likely heterogeneous in scale and quality, to demonstrate the use of SD EBV approaches (methods, infrastructure, reporting) for model-based monitoring of focal species. We will strategically focus on species or species groups that have already rich data and/or a community of experts that engages as partners. This will generally include selected species of rare vertebrates, invertebrates and plants, and specifically existing databases and efforts such as the APES (addressing primates globally) or similar expert groups. This project will for select taxa and species implement integrative and cross-scale modelling procedures to provide fine-grain predictions of spatial distributions, population sizes and their changes. These predictions are aimed at directly informing conservation and threat assessments.
Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables Workshop Products
Resources Proposal submitted to the NASA A.50 funding call
Link with other activities Remote Sensing Task Force
7. Predicting plant abundances and their dynamics
Leads Adam Wilson
Team Cory Merow, Jasper Slingsby, Walter Jetz, John Silander
Development Approach Data mobilization, Modelling
EBVs Species Distribution, Population Abundance
Description One specific project, focused on South Africa, will use data from this region to develop remote-sensing informed abundance EBVs for hundreds of species in the charismatic Proteaceae plant family using the new generalized joint attribute modelling framework.
Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables
Resources Proposal submitted to the NASA A.50 funding call
Link with other activities
8. Incentives for sharing species occurrence data
Leads Eugenie Regan, Donald Hobern (TBC)
Team Carsten Meyer Dirk Schmeller, Haigen Xu, Gary Geller, Hannu Saarenmaa, Rob Guralnick, Mark Costello
Development Approach Data Mobilization, Modelling
EBVs Species Distribution, Population Abundance
Description This project aims to explore and provide examples for the different benefits for data holders to share their data. The proposed plan is to write a paper on “Why share species occurrence data?”.
Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables Scientific publication
Resources
Link with other activities EBV Data Task Force
Data Products
Documents & Publications

Pagad S, P Genovesi, L Carnevali, D Schigel, and MA McGeoch. 2018. “Introducing the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species”. Scientific Data. 5. Download as PDF | doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2017.202

GEO BON Technical Series No. 2

An Essential Biodiversity Variable Approach to Monitoring Biological Invasions: Guide for Countries
November 2015

Download

Partners
Resources

WG Species Populations is linked to the NASA project:

Walter Jetz/Yale University
Activities to Advance, Build, and Deliver Remote-Sensing Supported Species Distribution and Species Bundance EBVs
16-GEO16-0078

WG Species Populations is linked to the sDiv project:

Melodie McGeoch (Monash University) and Marten Winter (iDiv)
Theory and Workflows for Alien and Invasive Species Tracking
sTWIST W6.30,  Synthesis Centre of iDiv, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (www.idiv.de/sdiv)