Temporal resolutions in species distribution models of highly mobile marine animals: Recommendations for ecologists and managers


Journal Article

© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd While ecologists have long recognized the influence of spatial resolution on species distribution models (SDMs), they have given relatively little attention to the influence of temporal resolution. Considering temporal resolutions is critical in distribution modelling of highly mobile marine animals, as they interact with dynamic oceanographic processes that vary at time-scales from seconds to decades. We guide ecologists in selecting temporal resolutions that best match ecological questions and ecosystems, and managers in applying these models. We group the temporal resolutions of environmental variables used in SDMs into three classes: instantaneous, contemporaneous and climatological. We posit that animal associations with fine-scale and ephemeral features are best modelled with instantaneous covariates. Associations with large scale and persistent oceanographic features are best modelled with climatological covariates. Associations with mesoscale features are best modelled with instantaneous or contemporaneous covariates if ephemeral processes are present or interannual variability occurs, and climatological covariates if seasonal processes dominate and interannual variability is weak.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mannocci, L; Boustany, AM; Roberts, JJ; Palacios, DM; Dunn, DC; Halpin, PN; Viehman, S; Moxley, J; Cleary, J; Bailey, H; Bograd, SJ; Becker, EA; Gardner, B; Hartog, JR; Hazen, EL; Ferguson, MC; Forney, KA; Kinlan, BP; Oliver, MJ; Perretti, CT; Ridoux, V; Teo, SLH; Winship, AJ

Published Date

  • October 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1098 - 1109

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1472-4642

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1366-9516

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/ddi.12609

Citation Source

  • Scopus