Species Distribution Modelling

Species distribution modelling (SDM) is the emprical/statistical approach of projecting suitable habitat for species based on numerical relationships between an observed species’ range and the corresponding environment. SDMs are particularly useful for filling range maps when only partial occupancy data are available or for projecting species’ habitats under changing environments through time (i.e. into the past or future).

When constructing historical biogeographies of species, multiple lines of evidence can be sythesised to create a more comprehensive picture of post-glacial migration and genetic distribution. We combined genetic data and species distribution models to establish a post-glacial history of trembling aspen in North America.

Ding, C., S. G. Schreiber, D. R. Roberts, A. Hamann, J. S. Brouard. (2017) “Post-glacial biogeography of trembling aspen inferred from habitat models and genetic variance in quantitative traits.Scientific Reports, 7: 4672.

Trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) through space and time


Pando – a clonal colony of aspen occupying 43 ha in the Fishlake National Forest in south-central Utah