A Bayesian spatial approach to modelling fish species occurrence

Mary Woodcock Kroble
Wednesday 10 November 2010
Date: 20 July 2011
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Speaker: Maria Grazia Pennino (Spanish Institute for Oceanography)


Modelling species presence/absence models using local environmental factors has been a growing problem in ecology in recent years. I’ll briefly discuss an approach to address this issue that I have developed this year. I propose a Bayesian hierarchical model to predict the occurrence of species incorporating environmental and spatial variables using data from commercial fishery. Maps of predicted probabilities of presence have been generated using Bayesian kriging. I applied this approach to the Mediterranean mackerel (Trachurus mediterraneus) in the western Mediterranean, but the methodology could also be used for any other species. However, this predictive model identifies the distribution of species based only on ecological relationships between the environment and habitat selection of species. My interest now is to analyze how the biotic relationship affects the spatial distribution of species. I’ll propose a particular case of study of “predator-prey”, and I’ll explain my guess to address this issue.