How well do species distribution models measure variable importance?

Geum radiatum (zoomed prediction)

One of the most common applications of species distribution models is to identify important variables and measure their relative effect. Despite hundreds of papers assessing the predictive power of SDMs, there are none assessing their inferential power. Maria Santos and Adam recently completed the first such analysis!

Smith, A.B. and Santos, M.J. Testing the ability of species distribution models to infer variable importance. Ecography 43:1801-1813.

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