||bRacatus: A method to estimate the accuracy and biogeographical status of georeferenced biological data
||Arlé, E.; Zizka, A.; Keil, P.; Winter, M.; Essl, F.; Knight, T.; Weigelt, P.; Jiménez-Muñoz, M.; Meyer, C.
||Methods in Ecology and Evolution
||T5 Future Landscapes
|Data and Software links
||checklists; data quality; data uncertainty; GBIF; invasion biology; range maps; vegetation plot data
- Georeferenced biological data of species
distributions, abundances or traits are critical for ecological and
evolutionary research. However, the accuracy (true vs. false records)
and biogeographical status (native vs. alien) of individual
georeferenced records are often unclear, which limits their use in
species distribution modelling, analyses of biodiversity change and
- Here, we introduced bRacatus,
a new method and R package to estimate a given georeferenced record's
probability of being true or false and of corresponding to a native or
an alien occurrence. Our framework avoided artificial thresholds of data
filtering and instead implemented a probabilistic framework which
allowed propagating uncertainties in subsequent analyses. We trained and
tested our method on 400 terrestrial species of amphibians, birds,
terrestrial mammals and vascular plants from four continents.
- bRacatus showed good
predictive power (mean AUC higher than 0.9; mean RMSE lower than 0.3)
for both the accuracy and biogeographical status. Model performance was
similar among continents, range sizes and taxa not used in the training.
Tests were robust using either range maps or regional checklists of
differing levels of data completeness as reference regions.
- bRacatus was
implemented as a user-friendly R package that enabled researchers to
assess the accuracy and biogeographical status of species occurrences,
population abundances, community composition or any other type of
georeferenced biodiversity records. We proposed this method as a routine
step in addressing the inherent uncertainty of point observations to
promote more accurate ecological inference and predictions.
|Persistent UFZ Identifier
|Arlé, E., Zizka, A., Keil, P., Winter, M., Essl, F., Knight, T., Weigelt, P., Jiménez-Muñoz, M., Meyer, C. (2021):
bRacatus: A method to estimate the accuracy and biogeographical status of georeferenced biological data
Methods Ecol. Evol. 12 (9), 1609 - 1619