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Investigating the relationships between the distribution of British ground beetle species (Coleoptera, Carabidae) and temperature, precipitation and altitude

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michael Eyre, Professor Stephen Rushton, Dr Martin Luff


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Aims: We examine the relationships between the distribution of British ground beetle species and climatic and altitude variables with a view to developing models for evaluating the impact of climate change. Location: Data from 1684 10-km squares in Britain were used to model species-climate/altitude relationships. A validation data set was composed of data from 326 British 10-km squares not used in the model data set. Methods: The relationships between incidence and climate and altitude variables for 137 ground beetle species were investigated using logistic regression. The models produced were subjected to a validation exercise using the Kappa statistic with a second data set of 30 species. Distribution patterns for four species were predicted for Britain using the regression equations generated. Results: As many as 136 ground beetle species showed significant relationships with one or more of the altitude and climatic variables but the amount of variation explained by the models was generally poor. Models explaining 20% or more of the variation in species incidence were generated for only 10 species. Mean summer temperature and mean annual temperature were the best predictors for eight and six of these 10 species respectively. Few models based on altitude, annual precipitation and mean winter temperature were good predictors of ground beetle species distribution. The results of the validation exercise were mixed, with models for four species showing good or moderate fits whilst the remainder were poor. Main conclusions: Whilst there were many significant relationships between British ground beetle species distributions and altitude and climatic variables, these variables did not appear to be good predictors of ground beetle species distribution. The poor model performance appears to be related to the coarse nature of the response and predictor data sets and the absence of key predictors from the models. © 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Eyre MD, Rushton SP, Luff ML, Telfer MG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Biogeography

Year: 2005

Volume: 32

Issue: 6

Pages: 973-983

ISSN (print): 0305-0270

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2699

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2005.01258.x


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