Data integration for large-scale models of species distributions

Isaac NJB, Jarzyna M, Keil P, Dambly LI, Boersch-Supan PH, Browning E, Freeman SN, Golding N, Guillera-Arroita G, Henrys PA, Jarvis S, Lahoz-Monford J, Pagel J, Pescott O, Schmucki R, Simmonds EG, O'Hara RB 2020. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 35: 56-67


With the expansion in the quantity and types of biodiversity data being collected, there is a need to find ways to combine these different sources to provide cohesive summaries of species’ potential and realized distributions in space and time. Recently, model-based data integration has emerged as a means to achieve this by combining datasets in ways that retain the strengths of each. We describe a flexible approach to data integration using point process models, which provide a convenient way to translate across ecological currencies. We highlight recent examples of large-scale ecological models based on data integration and outline the conceptual and technical challenges and opportunities that arise.