Projecting species’ vulnerability to climate change: Which uncertainty sources matter most and extrapolate best?

Species distribution models (SDMs) are commonly used to assess potential climate change impacts on biodiversity, but several critical methodological decisions are often made arbitrarily. We compare variability arising from these decisions to the uncertainty in future climate change itself. We also test whether certain choices offer improved skill for extrapolating to a changed climate and whether internal cross-validation skill indicates extrapolative skill. We compared projected vulnerability for 29 wetland-dependent bird species breeding in the climatically dynamic Prairie Pothole Region, USA.

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