Landscape Ecology

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 843–855

Modeling spatial distribution of European badger in arid landscapes: an ecosystem functioning approach

  • Juan M. Requena-Mullor
  • Enrique López
  • Antonio J. Castro
  • Javier Cabello
  • Emilio Virgós
  • Emilio González-Miras
  • Hermelindo Castro
Research Article

Abstract

Understanding the factors determining the spatial distribution of species is a major challenge in ecology and conservation. This study tests the use of ecosystem functioning variables, derived from satellite imagery data, to explore their potential use in modeling the distribution of the European badger in Mediterranean arid environments. We found that the performance of distribution models was enhanced by the inclusion of variables derived from the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), such as mean EVI (a proxy for primary production), the coefficient of variation of mean EVI (an indicator of seasonality), and the standard deviation of mean EVI (representing spatial heterogeneity of primary production). We also found that distributions predicted by remote sensing data were consistent with the ecological preferences of badger in those environments, which may be explained by the link between EVI-derived variables and the spatial and temporal variability of food resource availability. In conclusion, we suggest the incorporation of variables associated with ecosystem function into species modeling exercises as a useful tool for improving decision-making related to wildlife conservation and management.

Keywords

Ecological niche modeling MaxEnt Remote sensing EVI Land use-land cover Mediterranean ecosystems Spain Meles meles 

Supplementary material

10980_2014_20_MOESM1_ESM.docx (504 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 505 kb)
10980_2014_20_MOESM2_ESM.docx (179 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 180 kb)
10980_2014_20_MOESM3_ESM.docx (807 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 807 kb)
10980_2014_20_MOESM4_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 16 kb)
10980_2014_20_MOESM5_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (DOCX 16 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan M. Requena-Mullor
    • 1
  • Enrique López
    • 1
    • 2
  • Antonio J. Castro
    • 1
    • 3
  • Javier Cabello
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emilio Virgós
    • 4
  • Emilio González-Miras
    • 5
  • Hermelindo Castro
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Geology, Andalusian Center for the Assessment and Monitoring of Global Change (CAESCG)University of AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Biology and GeologyUniversity of AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain
  3. 3.Oklahoma Biological SurveyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  4. 4.Biodiversity and Conservation Area, College of Experimental Science and TechnologyUniversity Rey Juan CarlosMóstolesSpain
  5. 5.Society for the Study and Recovery of the Almería′s Biodiversity (SERBAL)AguadulceSpain

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