Ecological Fingerprinting as Data Visualization: Phyloclimatic Patterns within a Group of South American Beetles

R.S. Hanley, A.P. Kirilenko, and S. Chatzimanolis (USA)

Keywords

MaxEnt, AI, Phyloclimate, Biodiversity, Insects.

Abstract

Numerous methods have been developed over the past two decades that model species’ ecological niches. These methods can generally be described as finding a correlation between where a species is found with a set of environmental parameters. The resulting models, however, are generally in the form of predictive maps that vary wildly in how transparent they are to evaluation and scrutiny. Herein, we propose a tool for visualizing species’ modeled ecological niches called ecological fingerprinting. This method uses the distributional models from a predictive algorithm and projects them into a visualization matrix. The resulting matrices mimic the general appearance of sequenced DNA and facilitate the ecological comparison across many species that was not previously possible. We demonstrate our new method in the phyloclimatic analysis of the South American beetle genus Nordus.

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