Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 132, Issue 1–2, pp 135–144 | Cite as

An analysis of sensitivity of CLIMEX parameters in mapping species potential distribution and the broad-scale changes observed with minor variations in parameters values: an investigation using open-field Solanum lycopersicum and Neoleucinodes elegantalis as an example

  • Ricardo Siqueira da SilvaEmail author
  • Lalit Kumar
  • Farzin Shabani
  • Marcelo Coutinho Picanço
Original Paper


A sensitivity analysis can categorize levels of parameter influence on a model’s output. Identifying parameters having the most influence facilitates establishing the best values for parameters of models, providing useful implications in species modelling of crops and associated insect pests. The aim of this study was to quantify the response of species models through a CLIMEX sensitivity analysis. Using open-field Solanum lycopersicum and Neoleucinodes elegantalis distribution records, and 17 fitting parameters, including growth and stress parameters, comparisons were made in model performance by altering one parameter value at a time, in comparison to the best-fit parameter values. Parameters that were found to have a greater effect on the model results are termed “sensitive”. Through the use of two species, we show that even when the Ecoclimatic Index has a major change through upward or downward parameter value alterations, the effect on the species is dependent on the selection of suitability categories and regions of modelling. Two parameters were shown to have the greatest sensitivity, dependent on the suitability categories of each species in the study. Results enhance user understanding of which climatic factors had a greater impact on both species distributions in our model, in terms of suitability categories and areas, when parameter values were perturbed by higher or lower values, compared to the best-fit parameter values. Thus, the sensitivity analyses have the potential to provide additional information for end users, in terms of improving management, by identifying the climatic variables that are most sensitive.



This research was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico – CNPq), the Brazilian Federal Agency, for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Ensino Superior – CAPES) and the School of Environmental and Rural Science of the University of New England (UNE), Armidale, Australia. The simulations were carried out using computational facilities at UNE.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Siqueira da Silva
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Lalit Kumar
    • 2
  • Farzin Shabani
    • 2
  • Marcelo Coutinho Picanço
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de EntomologiaUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural ScienceUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  3. 3.Departamento de FitotecniaUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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