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Deriving the Species Richness Distribution of Geotrupinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) in Mexico From the Overlap of Individual Model Predictions

Nuria Trotta-Moreu, Jorge M. Lobo
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EN08179 42-49 First published online: 1 February 2010

Abstract

Predictions from individual distribution models for Mexican Geotrupinae species were overlaid to obtain a total species richness map for this group. A database (GEOMEX) that compiles available information from the literature and from several entomological collections was used. A Maximum Entropy method (MaxEnt) was applied to estimate the distribution of each species, taking into account 19 climatic variables as predictors. For each species, suitability values ranging from 0 to 100 were calculated for each grid cell on the map, and 21 different thresholds were used to convert these continuous suitability values into binary ones (presence-absence). By summing all of the individual binary maps, we generated a species richness prediction for each of the considered thresholds. The number of species and faunal composition thus predicted for each Mexican state were subsequently compared with those observed in a preselected set of well-surveyed states. Our results indicate that the sum of individual predictions tends to overestimate species richness but that the selection of an appropriate threshold can reduce this bias. Even under the most optimistic prediction threshold, the mean species richness error is 61% of the observed species richness, with commission errors being significantly more common than omission errors (71 ± 29 versus 18 ± 10%). The estimated distribution of Geotrupinae species richness in Mexico in discussed, although our conclusions are preliminary and contingent on the scarce and probably biased available data.

  • Geotrupinae
  • Mexico
  • species richness distribution
  • predictive distribution models
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