Species Distribution Models
Species Distribution Modelling can provide an estimate of the impacts of climate change on species distributions in the Wheatbelt NRM region. A full description of the methods used to derive the layers can found in the Southern and South-Western Flatlands data layers: Data layers explained report.
Analyses were based on CMIP3 climate change models which have been superseded by the CMIP5 models. Although based on different assumptions, the projections of change in precipitation and temperature between the suites of models have been found to be similar. Go here for a summary of how the models compare.
The data presented in the maps are based on the three climate scenarios and two timeframes:
- B1 = low emission scenario
- A1B = medium emission scenario
- A2 = high emission scenario
- 2030 = 2030 timeframe
- 2080 = 2080 timeframe
Change in biodiversity can be represented in many different ways. The maps presented here show the potential of climate change to influence the following aspects of biodiversity:
- Species Richness – High richness areas represent where the greatest number of potential habitats coincide;
- Biodiversity Refugia – areas where species retreat to (species with a common responses to climate);
- Species Turnover – presents a percentage value that represents the extent of difference between the suite of species present under current and future climate scenarios.
- Species Movement Vectors – a simplified means of displaying the direction of habitat change of a species by using an arrow where the start point is the middle of the current distribution and the end is the middle of the future distribution. Note there is no consideration of how an individual species will move through the landscape.
- Vegetation Community composition
- Response group – maps of change represent the number of groups with at least half their species remaining
- NVIS modelling –
- negative value = decrease in the probability of community occurrence;
- positive value = increase in the probability of community occurrence; and
- zero value = no change.