Gabriel Dansereau
MSc Student

Poisot Lab
Université de Montréal
Département de sciences biologiques

Supervised by Timothée Poisot and Pierre Legendre

Identification of beta diversity hotspots using species distribution models

Is it possible to identify where, in any region, are located the sites with the most exceptional species composition without sampling the whole region? I aim to answer this question by developing a method to predict beta diversity not only for sets of sampled sites, but on a continuous spatial scale for a given region. I believe it is possible to do so by combining two types of methods : 1) local contributions to beta diversity (LCBD) calculation methods, which allow for the identification of sites with exceptional beta diversity, and 2) species distribution models, which are used to predict distributions on continuous spatial scales based on  species observations. This method would be useful to identify sites with high conservation value within poorly sampled regions, for instance. I also aim to link this method with IPCC climate change scenarios as a way of modelling beta-diversity changes over time, which could again prove useful for conservation purposes.