The costs of poor range shift detections – how can we sharpen our lens?

Jennifer Sunday

Department of Biology, McGill University


Detecting range shifts requires repeated surveys across space and long durations of time. As such, our key datasets have been opportunistic, often coarse in spatial and temporal grain, and difficult to synthesize coherently. Yet the promise of range shift detections remains that systematic observations at high spatial and temporal resolution can allow us to better inform predictive models, that incorporate the role of ecological interactions and evolutionary change. How will we achieve the quality of observational data required? Here I review the limitations in our current approaches in terms of signal, noise, and power for testing theory and building more predictive models. I highlight the qualities and potential of our best datasets, and build an argument for using new technologies and approaches for global, systematic biogeographic monitoring.

Species on the Move

An International Conference Series

The conference brings together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and relevant in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology.

Species responses to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference develops connections between these parallel streams, and across temporal and spatial scales.

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