Testing the efficacy of downscaling in species distribution modelling

a comparison between MaxEnt and favourability function models

J. Olivero, A. G. Toxopeus, A. K. Skidmore, R. Real

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Statistical downscaling is used to improve spatial distributions from broad–scale to fine–scale maps with higher potential for conservation planning. We assessed the effectiveness of downscaling in two commonly used species distribution models: Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) and the Favourability Function (FF). We used atlas data (10 x 10 km) of the fire salamander Salamandra salamandra distribution in southern Spain to derive models at a 1 x 1 km resolution. Downscaled models were assessed using an independent dataset of the species' distribution at 1 x 1 km. The Favourability model showed better downscaling performance than the MaxEnt model, and the models that were based on linear combinations of environmental variables performed better than models allowing higher flexibility. The Favourability model minimized model overfitting compared to the MaxEnt model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-114
Number of pages16
JournalAnimal Biodiversity and Conservation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Publisher 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Atlas distribution data
  • Model transferability
  • Favourability function model
  • Maximum Entropy model
  • Overfitting
  • Salamandra salamandra
  • Favourability model
  • Maximum entropy

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