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Biodiversity: Habitat Suitability
Kreakie, Betty J. Biodiversity: Habitat Suitability. Chapter N/A, Encyclopedia of Natural Resources: Land. Taylor & Francis, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, , 66-72, (2014).
This is an entry to an on-line encyclopedia.
Habitat suitability quantifies the relationship between species and habitat, and is evaluated according to the species’ fitness (i.e. proportion of birth rate to death rate). Even though it might maximize evolutionary success, species are not always in habitat that optimizes fitness. In fact, species live in habitats that result in varying fitness levels. By studying habitat suitability range and making assumptions about how fitness relates to occupancy, we can make predictions about probability of occurrence across a landscape. Spatial predictions of occurrence have a wide range of applied uses. Habitat modeling helps make predictions about how species may respond to climate change and other habitat changes. Conservation biologists use models for endangered species protection (e.g. identification of introduction sites and critical habitat). They can also be used to identify areas that are vulnerable to invasive species. Habitat suitability models simplify a large amount of ecological information, therefore require fastidious interpretation. Despite simplifying assumptions, the results provide insight into large ecological problems.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (BOOK CHAPTER)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION
POPULATION ECOLOGY BRANCH