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Landscape Ecology

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 1241–1260 | Cite as

Shaken but not stirred: multiscale habitat suitability modeling of sympatric marten species (Martes martes and Martes foina) in the northern Iberian Peninsula

  • Maria Vergara
  • Samuel A. Cushman
  • Fermín Urra
  • Aritz Ruiz-González
Research Article

Abstract

Context

Multispecies and multiscale habitat suitability models (HSM) are important to identify the environmental variables and scales influencing habitat selection and facilitate the comparison of closely related species with different ecological requirements.

Objectives

This study explores the multiscale relationships of habitat suitability for the pine (Martes martes) and stone marten (M. foina) in northern Spain to evaluate differences in habitat selection and scaling, and to determine if there is habitat niche displacement when both species coexist.

Methods

We combined bivariate scaling and maximum entropy modeling to compare the multiscale habitat selection of the two martens. To optimize the HSM, the performance of three sampling bias correction methods at four spatial scales was explored. HSMs were compared to explore niche differentiation between species through a niche identity test.

Results

The comparison among HSMs resulted in the detection of a significant niche divergence between species. The pine marten was positively associated with cooler mountainous areas, low levels of human disturbance, high proportion of natural forests and well-connected forestry plantations, and medium-extent agroforestry mosaics. The stone marten was positively related to the density of urban areas, the proportion and extensiveness of croplands, the existence of some scrub cover and semi-continuous grasslands.

Conclusions

This study outlines the influence of the spatial scale and the importance of the sampling bias corrections in HSM, and to our knowledge, it is the first comparing multiscale habitat selection and niche divergence of two related marten species. This study provides a useful methodological framework for multispecies and multiscale comparatives.

Keywords

HSM Scale dependency Sampling bias Niche divergence Maxent Pine marten Stone marten 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study has been partially funded by the Basque Government through the Research group on “Systematics, Biogeography and Population Dynamics” (Ref. IT317-10; GIC10/76). MV (Ref: RBFI-2012-446) and ARG (Ref: DKR-2012-64) were supported by a PhD and post-doctoral fellowships awarded by the Department of Education, Universities and Research of the Basque Government. U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station supported Cushman’s work on this project. The authors wish to thank all the people directly involved in the collection of non-invasive genetic samples and those reporting the tissue specimens and species locations used in this study, including rangers, vets and field researchers and their institutions (Table S1 in Online Appendix). The sampling of Navarre region was supported by the Habitat section, Department of rural development, environment and local administrations, Navarre Government. We are also very grateful to Dr. Jason Brown and Dr. Warren for their useful comments regarding SDMtools and ENMtools, respectively.

Supplementary material

10980_2015_307_MOESM1_ESM.tif (744 kb)
Fig. S1 Comparative of the performance of the multiscale and the single-scale models. The AUC values obtained for the pine marten across scales are shown in green and those for the stone marten are shown in purple. The AUC values obtained for the multiscale models are reported last (TIFF 745 kb)
10980_2015_307_MOESM2_ESM.tif (93.7 mb)
Fig. S2 Distribution of the presences predicted as present and the presences predicted as absent for the raw and two corrected HSMs for Martes spp. Presences predicted as absent are colored in orange while the presences predicted as present are shown in green. The raw Mm_rA and the corrected Mm_cGK2 and Mm_cGK8 are reported in the first column while Mf_rA, Mf_cGK2 and Mf_cGK4 are represented in the second (TIFF 95921 kb)
10980_2015_307_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (104 kb)
Table S1 Martens locations used to build the habitat suitability models (n = 1286) (XLSX 105 kb)
10980_2015_307_MOESM4_ESM.xlsx (17 kb)
Table S2 Results of the bivariate scaling showing the AUC values of the single variable models across scales and species. The scale with the highest AUC value is represented in bold. Variables underlined (shared by both mustelids) and in italics (species-specific) are those which remained after pruning (XLSX 18 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Vergara
    • 1
    • 2
  • Samuel A. Cushman
    • 3
  • Fermín Urra
    • 4
  • Aritz Ruiz-González
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Animal Cell BiologyUniversity of the Basque Country, UPV/EHUVitoria-GasteizSpain
  2. 2.Systematics, Biogeography and Population Dynamics Research Group, Lascaray Research CenterUniversity of the Basque Country, UPV/EHUVitoria-GasteizSpain
  3. 3.U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research StationFlagstaffUSA
  4. 4.Biodiversity UnitEnvironmental Management of Navarre S.A.PamplonaSpain

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