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Article

Combining Satellite Remote Sensing and Climate Data in Species Distribution Models to Improve the Conservation of Iberian White Oaks (Quercus L.)

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CIBIO (Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources)—InBIO (Research Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology), University of Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
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MHNC-UP—Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto, Praça Gomes Teixeira, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal
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Biology Department, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, s/n, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
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Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão, 4900-347 Viana do Castelo, Portugal
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CICGE—Centro de Investigação em Ciências Geo-Espaciais, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Observatório Astronómico “Prof. Manuel de Barros”, Alameda do Monte da Virgem, 4430-146 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
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Department of Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour, Institute of Integrative Biology (IIB), University of Liverpool, Bioscience Building, Liverpool L69 7ZB, UK
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CICYTEX—Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas de Extremadura, Agricultural Research Centre, Finca La Orden, Valdesequera, Ctra. A-V, Km372, 06187 Guadajira, Badajoz, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(12), 735; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9120735
Received: 30 October 2020 / Revised: 28 November 2020 / Accepted: 4 December 2020 / Published: 8 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of GIS for Biodiversity Research)
The Iberian Peninsula hosts a high diversity of oak species, being a hot-spot for the conservation of European White Oaks (Quercus) due to their environmental heterogeneity and its critical role as a phylogeographic refugium. Identifying and ranking the drivers that shape the distribution of White Oaks in Iberia requires that environmental variables operating at distinct scales are considered. These include climate, but also ecosystem functioning attributes (EFAs) related to energy–matter exchanges that characterize land cover types under various environmental settings, at finer scales. Here, we used satellite-based EFAs and climate variables in species distribution models (SDMs) to assess how variables related to ecosystem functioning improve our understanding of current distributions and the identification of suitable areas for White Oak species in Iberia. We developed consensus ensemble SDMs targeting a set of thirteen oaks, including both narrow endemic and widespread taxa. Models combining EFAs and climate variables obtained a higher performance and predictive ability (true-skill statistic (TSS): 0.88, sensitivity: 99.6, specificity: 96.3), in comparison to the climate-only models (TSS: 0.86, sens.: 96.1, spec.: 90.3) and EFA-only models (TSS: 0.73, sens.: 91.2, spec.: 82.1). Overall, narrow endemic species obtained higher predictive performance using combined models (TSS: 0.96, sens.: 99.6, spec.: 96.3) in comparison to widespread oaks (TSS: 0.80, sens.: 92.6, spec.: 87.7). The Iberian White Oaks show a high dependence on precipitation and the inter-quartile range of Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) (i.e., seasonal water availability) which appears to be the most important EFA variable. Spatial projections of climate–EFA combined models contribute to identify the major diversity hotspots for White Oaks in Iberia, holding higher values of cumulative habitat suitability and species richness. We discuss the implications of these findings for guiding the long-term conservation of Iberian White Oaks and provide spatially explicit geospatial information about each oak species (or set of species) relevant for developing biogeographic conservation frameworks. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; satellite remote sensing; species distribution models; Quercus; oak forests; biodiversity conservation; Iberian Peninsula. climate change; satellite remote sensing; species distribution models; Quercus; oak forests; biodiversity conservation; Iberian Peninsula.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vila-Viçosa, C.; Arenas-Castro, S.; Marcos, B.; Honrado, J.; García, C.; Vázquez, F.M.; Almeida, R.; Gonçalves, J. Combining Satellite Remote Sensing and Climate Data in Species Distribution Models to Improve the Conservation of Iberian White Oaks (Quercus L.). ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 735. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9120735

AMA Style

Vila-Viçosa C, Arenas-Castro S, Marcos B, Honrado J, García C, Vázquez FM, Almeida R, Gonçalves J. Combining Satellite Remote Sensing and Climate Data in Species Distribution Models to Improve the Conservation of Iberian White Oaks (Quercus L.). ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2020; 9(12):735. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9120735

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vila-Viçosa, Carlos, Salvador Arenas-Castro, Bruno Marcos, João Honrado, Cristina García, Francisco M. Vázquez, Rubim Almeida, and João Gonçalves. 2020. "Combining Satellite Remote Sensing and Climate Data in Species Distribution Models to Improve the Conservation of Iberian White Oaks (Quercus L.)" ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9, no. 12: 735. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9120735

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