Title

Non-equilibrium in plant distribution models – only an issue for introduced or dispersal limited species?

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Ecography

Volume

Early View

Publisher

Wiley

Publication Date

2014

DOI

DOI: 10.1111/ecog.00928

Abstract

Species distribution models rely on the assumption that species' distributions are at equilibrium with environmental conditions within a region – i.e. they occur in all suitable habitats. If this assumption holds, species occurrence should be predictable from measures of the environment. Introduced species may be poor candidates for distribution models due to their presumed lack of equilibrium within the landscapes they occupy, although predicting their potential distributions is often of critical importance to natural resource managers. We determined if the accuracy of species distribution models differed between 17 native and 17 introduced riparian plant species in the western United States. We also assessed if model accuracy was associated with both environmental and biological factors that can influence dispersal.