Seasonal difference in temporal transferability of an ecological model: near-term predictions of lemming outbreak abundances
Ecological models have been criticized for a lack of validation of their temporal transferability. Here we answer this call by investigating the temporal transferability of a dynamic state-space model developed to estimate season-dependent biotic and climatic predictors of spatial variability in outbreak abundance of the Norwegian lemming. Modelled summer and winter dynamics parametrized by spatial trapping data from one cyclic outbreak were validated with data from a subsequent outbreak. There was a distinct diference in model transferability between seasons. Summer dynamics had good temporal transferability, displaying ecological models’ potential to be temporally transferable. However, the winter dynamics transferred poorly. This discrepancy is likely due to a temporal inconsistency in the ability of the climate predictor (i.e. elevation) to refect the winter conditions afecting lemmings both directly and indirectly. We conclude that there is an urgent need for data and models that yield better predictions of winter processes, in particular in face of the expected rapid climate change in the Arctic.
Source at: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-33443-6