Clustering future scenarios based on predicted range maps

Davidow M, Schafer TLJ, Merow C, Che-Castaldo J, Düker MC, Feng E, Matteson DS (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.14080


Predictions of biodiversity trajectories under climate change are crucial in order to act effectively in maintaining the diversity of species. In many ecological applications, future predictions are made under various global warming scenarios, as described by a range of different climate models. We propose a clustering methodology to synthesize and interpret the outputs of these various predictions. We propose an interpretable and flexible two-step methodology to measure the similarity between predicted species range maps and to cluster the future scenario predictions utilizing a spectral clustering technique. We implement and provide code for this method. We find that clustering based on predicted species range maps is mainly driven by the amount of warming rather than climate model or future scenario. We contrast this with clustering based only on predicted climate variables, which is driven primarily by climate models, that is, scenarios of the same climate model are clustered together, even when the amount of warming input to the models is varied. The differences between species-based and climate-based clusterings illustrate that it is crucial to incorporate ecological information to understand the relevant differences between climate models. Our findings can be used to better synthesize forecasts of biodiversity change under the wide spectrum of results that emerge when considering potential future scenarios.

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Davidow, M., Schafer, T.L.J., Merow, C., Che-Castaldo, J., Düker, M.-C., Feng, E., & Matteson, D.S. (2023). Clustering future scenarios based on predicted range maps. Methods in Ecology and Evolution.


Davidow, Matthew, et al. "Clustering future scenarios based on predicted range maps." Methods in Ecology and Evolution (2023).

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