Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 963–974 | Cite as

Additions of landscape metrics improve predictions of occurrence of species distribution models

  • Érica Hasui
  • Vinícius X. Silva
  • Rogério G. T. Cunha
  • Flavio N. Ramos
  • Milton C. Ribeiro
  • Mario Sacramento
  • Marco T. P. Coelho
  • Diego G. S. Pereira
  • Bruno R. Ribeiro
Original Paper


Species distribution models are used to aid our understanding of the processes driving the spatial patterns of species’ habitats. This approach has received criticism, however, largely because it neglects landscape metrics. We examined the relative impacts of landscape predictors on the accuracy of habitat models by constructing distribution models at regional scales incorporating environmental variables (climate, topography, vegetation, and soil types) and secondary species occurrence data, and using them to predict the occurrence of 36 species in 15 forest fragments where we conducted rapid surveys. We then selected six landscape predictors at the landscape scale and ran general linear models of species presence/absence with either a single scale predictor (the probabilities of occurrence of the distribution models or landscape variables) or multiple scale predictors (distribution models + one landscape variable). Our results indicated that distribution models alone had poor predictive abilities but were improved when landscape predictors were added; the species responses were not, however, similar to the multiple scale predictors. Our study thus highlights the importance of considering landscape metrics to generate more accurate habitat suitability models.


Ecological niche model Generalized linear models Habitat suitability Landscape structure Maxent 



We thank Mainara Xavier Jordani and Diogo Borges Provete for their assistance in the field; the anonymous reviewers for critically reading the text; the Instituto Chico Mendes (ICMBio) for issuing the capture and transportation licenses (No. 10704-1; 22020-1); the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) for its financial support through the Biota Minas Program (Proc. No. APQ 03549-09); and Roy Richard Funch who revised the English translation.


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Érica Hasui
    • 1
  • Vinícius X. Silva
    • 1
  • Rogério G. T. Cunha
    • 1
  • Flavio N. Ramos
    • 1
  • Milton C. Ribeiro
    • 2
  • Mario Sacramento
    • 1
    • 5
  • Marco T. P. Coelho
    • 1
    • 3
  • Diego G. S. Pereira
    • 4
  • Bruno R. Ribeiro
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratório de Ecologia de Fragmentos Florestais (ECOFRAG), Instituto de Ciência da NaturezaUniversidade Federal de AlfenasAlfenasBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Ecologia Espacial e Conservação (LEEC), Departamento de EcologiaUNESPRio ClaroBrazil
  3. 3.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Evolução da Universidade Federal de GoiásUniversidade Federal de GoiásGoiâniaBrazil
  4. 4.Departamento de Ciências FlorestaisUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  5. 5.Estação de Hidrobiologia e Piscicultura de Furnas – EHPFSão José da BarraBrazil

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