Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/29849
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Niches for Species, a multi-species model to guide woodland management: An example based on Scotland's native woodlands
Author(s): Broome, Alice
Bellamy, Chloe
Rattey, Andrew
Ray, Duncan
Quine, Christopher P
Park, Kirsty J
Contact Email: k.j.park@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Protected species
Habitat suitability models
Knowledge-based models
Niches for Species model
Land management
Forestry
Issue Date: Aug-2019
Citation: Broome A, Bellamy C, Rattey A, Ray D, Quine CP & Park KJ (2019) Niches for Species, a multi-species model to guide woodland management: An example based on Scotland's native woodlands. Ecological Indicators, 103, pp. 410-424. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.04.021
Abstract: Designating and managing areas with the aim of protecting biodiversity requires information on species distributions and habitat associations, but a lack of reliable occurrence records for rare and threatened species precludes robust empirical modelling. Managers of Scotland’s native woodlands are obliged to consider 208 protected species, which each have their own, narrow niche requirements. To support decision-making, we developed Niches for Species (N4S), a model that uses expert knowledge to predict the potential occurrence of 179 woodland protected species representing a range of taxa: mammals, birds, invertebrates, fungi, bryophytes, lichens and vascular plants. Few existing knowledge-based models have attempted to include so many species. We collated knowledge to define each species’ suitable habitat according to a hierarchical habitat classification: woodland type, stand structure and microhabitat. Various spatial environmental datasets were used singly or in combination to classify and map Scotland’s native woodlands accordingly, thus allowing predictive mapping of each species’ potential niche. We illustrate how the outputs can inform individual species management, or can be summarised across species and regions to provide an indicator of woodland biodiversity potential for landscape scale decisions. We tested the model for ten species using available occurrence records. Although concordance between predicted and observed distributions was indicated for nine of these species, this relationship was statistically significant in only five cases. We discuss the difficulties in reliably testing predictions when the records available for rare species are typically low in number, patchy and biased, and suggest future model improvements. Finally, we demonstrate how using N4S to synthesise complex, multi-species information into an easily digestible format can help policy makers and practitioners consider large numbers of species and their conservation needs.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.04.021
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Accepted refereed manuscript of: Broome A, Bellamy C, Rattey A, Ray D, Quine CP & Park KJ (2019) Niches for Species, a multi-species model to guide woodland management: An example based on Scotland's native woodlands. Ecological Indicators, 103, pp. 410-424. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.04.021 © 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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