Species distribution modelling of Aloidendron dichotomum (quiver tree)

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Durbach, Ian
dc.contributor.author Dube, Qobo
dc.date.accessioned 2019-02-18T11:18:24Z
dc.date.available 2019-02-18T11:18:24Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.citation Dube, Q. 2018. Species distribution modelling of Aloidendron dichotomum (quiver tree). University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/29625
dc.description.abstract A variety of species distribution models (SDMs) were fit to data collected by a 15,000km road-side visual survey of Aloidendron dichotomum populations in the Northern Cape region of South Africa, and Namibia. We fit traditional presence/absence SDMs as well as SDMs on how proportions are distributed across three species stage classes (juvenile, adult, dead). Using five candidate machine learning methods and an ensemble model, we compared a number of approaches, including the role of balanced class (presence/absence) datasets in species distribution modelling. Secondary to this was whether or not the addition of species’ absences, generated where the species is known not to exist have an impact on findings. The goal of the analysis was to map the distribution of Aloidendron dichotomum under different scenarios. Precipitation-based variables were generally more deterministic of species presence or lack thereof. Visual interpretation of the estimated Aloidendron dichotomum population under current climate conditions, suggested a reasonably well fit model, having a large overlap with the sampled area. There however were some conditions estimated to be suitable for species incidence outside of the sampled range, where Aloidendron dichotomum are not known to occur. Habitat suitability for juvenile individuals was largely decreasing in concentration towards Windhoek. The largest proportion of dead individuals was estimated to be on the northern edge of the Riemvasmaak Conservancy, along the South African/Namibian boarder, reaching up to a 60% composition of the population. The adult stage class maintained overall proportional dominance. Under future climate scenarios, despite maintaining a bulk of the currently habitable conditions, a noticeable negative shift in habitat suitability for the species was observed. A temporal analysis of Aloidendron dichotomum’s latitudinal and longitudinal range revealed a potential south-easterly shift in suitable species conditions. Results were however met with some uncertainty as SDMs were uncovered to be extrapolating into a substantial amount of the study area. We found that balancing response class frequencies within the data proved not to be an effective error reduction technique overall, having no considerable impact on species detection accuracy. Balancing the classes however did improve the accuracy on the presence class, at the cost of accuracy of the observed absence class. Furthermore, overall model accuracy increased as more absences from outside the study area were added, only because these generated absences were predicted well. The resulting models had lower estimated suitability outside of the survey area and noticeably different suitability distributions within the survey area. This made the addition of the generated absences undesirable. Results highlighted the potential vulnerability of Aloidendron dichotomum given the pessimistic, yet likely future climate scenarios.
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.other Advanced Analytics and Decision Science
dc.title Species distribution modelling of Aloidendron dichotomum (quiver tree)
dc.type Master Thesis
dc.date.updated 2019-02-18T07:08:22Z
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science
dc.publisher.department Department of Statistical Sciences
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationname MSc
dc.identifier.apacitation Dube, Q. (2018). <i>Species distribution modelling of Aloidendron dichotomum (quiver tree)</i>. (). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Statistical Sciences. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/29625 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Dube, Qobo. <i>"Species distribution modelling of Aloidendron dichotomum (quiver tree)."</i> ., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Statistical Sciences, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/29625 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Dube Q. Species distribution modelling of Aloidendron dichotomum (quiver tree). []. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Statistical Sciences, 2018 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/29625 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Dube, Qobo AB - A variety of species distribution models (SDMs) were fit to data collected by a 15,000km road-side visual survey of Aloidendron dichotomum populations in the Northern Cape region of South Africa, and Namibia. We fit traditional presence/absence SDMs as well as SDMs on how proportions are distributed across three species stage classes (juvenile, adult, dead). Using five candidate machine learning methods and an ensemble model, we compared a number of approaches, including the role of balanced class (presence/absence) datasets in species distribution modelling. Secondary to this was whether or not the addition of species’ absences, generated where the species is known not to exist have an impact on findings. The goal of the analysis was to map the distribution of Aloidendron dichotomum under different scenarios. Precipitation-based variables were generally more deterministic of species presence or lack thereof. Visual interpretation of the estimated Aloidendron dichotomum population under current climate conditions, suggested a reasonably well fit model, having a large overlap with the sampled area. There however were some conditions estimated to be suitable for species incidence outside of the sampled range, where Aloidendron dichotomum are not known to occur. Habitat suitability for juvenile individuals was largely decreasing in concentration towards Windhoek. The largest proportion of dead individuals was estimated to be on the northern edge of the Riemvasmaak Conservancy, along the South African/Namibian boarder, reaching up to a 60% composition of the population. The adult stage class maintained overall proportional dominance. Under future climate scenarios, despite maintaining a bulk of the currently habitable conditions, a noticeable negative shift in habitat suitability for the species was observed. A temporal analysis of Aloidendron dichotomum’s latitudinal and longitudinal range revealed a potential south-easterly shift in suitable species conditions. Results were however met with some uncertainty as SDMs were uncovered to be extrapolating into a substantial amount of the study area. We found that balancing response class frequencies within the data proved not to be an effective error reduction technique overall, having no considerable impact on species detection accuracy. Balancing the classes however did improve the accuracy on the presence class, at the cost of accuracy of the observed absence class. Furthermore, overall model accuracy increased as more absences from outside the study area were added, only because these generated absences were predicted well. The resulting models had lower estimated suitability outside of the survey area and noticeably different suitability distributions within the survey area. This made the addition of the generated absences undesirable. Results highlighted the potential vulnerability of Aloidendron dichotomum given the pessimistic, yet likely future climate scenarios. DA - 2018 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2018 T1 - Species distribution modelling of Aloidendron dichotomum (quiver tree) TI - Species distribution modelling of Aloidendron dichotomum (quiver tree) UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/29625 ER - en_ZA


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