Thursday, 8 October 2009

MOBIMO: Application of niche-based modelling techniques to long-term common bird monitoring data

New collaboration project started with the Gabriel Lippmann research center in Luxembourg.

The MOBIMO project lead by Dr. Nicolas Titeux will allow the recruitment of a PhD. student Olatz Aizpurua that will join the group from Luxembourg to deal with the applciation of predictive distribution models to the monitoring of biodiversity.

In the MOBIMO project, the following issues will be addressed using several datasets from different countries:

1. The monitoring programs provide us with a great deal of spatial data, but the extent to which those data appropriately reflect species distributions most likely depends on the species features, the survey methodologies, or both. For this reason, the appropriateness of bird survey data collected according to different methodologies and for a series of species associated with varying features is to be evaluated. In addition, different survey programs typically run in parallel in several countries and the relevance of combining the data they provide to generate niche-based models of species distribution is to be assessed.

2. The relevance of coupling monitoring and modelling approaches is to be evaluated in light of parameters related to the reproductive performance of the species, because these parameters are the ultimate indicators of the suitability of environmental conditions for the reproduction of the species (Titeux et al. 2007). This evaluation is of paramount importance before the results of the niche-based models can be used to document the sites that are the most suitable for the persistence of the species or to estimate the changes in species distribution that could happen in response to projected environmental changes (e.g. modifications in land use).

In the MOBIMO project, baseline bird survey information from Catalonia, Wallonia and Luxembourg will offers us the opportunity to address those issues and to ultimately evaluate the relevance of coupling bird survey data with environmental conditions through niche-based modelling of species distribution. The quality and the type of bird survey or environmental information data differ among these regions, which will enable us to compare the importance of the quality of baseline data and the application of different types of model validation procedures.

Nova col.laboració en el marc del projecte MOBIMO amb el Gabriel Lippmann research center a Luxemburg.

El projecte MOBIMO liderat pel Dr. Nicolas Titeux permetrà la incorporació de la estudiant de doctorat Olatz Aizpurua que s'incorporarà al grup des de Luxemburg amb l'objectiu de desenvolupar aplicacions dels models predictius de distribució al monitorig de la biodiversitat.


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