Ecological niche modeling using caatinga plant species: an introduction. November 2014

Abstract: Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) or Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) may be a key tool for the study and management of areas of interest. This is the case of the caatinga biome, the largest Seasonally Drought Tropical Forest (SDTF) on the planet. Caatinga is considered an endangered environment as its biodiversity is poorly known and its area is subject to great anthropogenic pressure. In order to evaluate the use of ENM/SDM in the study of the caatinga, we surveyed scientific publications that used SDMs ENMs to infer the potential distribution of species occurring in this biome, with special interest in plants. We performed the bibliographical research on physical and virtual databases. For the evaluation of the use of ENM/SDM in studies  addressing the caatinga, original articles published between 2010 and 2014 were retrieved. The discussion about such articles was based on review articles, books and technical manuals. Bibliographical survey techniques were used and the entire bibliography was systematized in charts, tables and diagrams. We found 32 references that addressed biodiversity, biogeography, bioinformatics, botany, conservation, epidemiology and niche modeling. Regarding the use of ENM and SDM, 15 original articles were found, 40% of which focused on the study of plant groups. Furthermore, many studies that focused on niche modeling of animal species emphasized the importance of the conservation of native plant coverage. The causes for the shortage of use of ENM/SDM in the study of the flora of the caatinga were discussed and the implications for the knowledge and conservation of this biome were presented.

Event: A conferência da Terra: Agricultura Familiar, Natureza e Segurança Alimentar, 2014 http://conferencia-da-terra.webnode.com//

Date: November 19-22, 2014

Authors: Lucila Karla Felix Lima de Brito ;John Elton de Brito Leite Cunha; Silvio Severino de Sousa Júnior; Iana Alexandra Alves Rufino.