Elise F. Zipkin, Jeffrey W. Doser

Context matters in ecological forecasting: Lessons in predicting species distributions

  • General Environmental Science
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Global and Planetary Change

Forecasting the future state of a species is a tricky process, as there are numerous hidden factors that influence species trajectories in addition to the obvious unknowns about the future state of the planet. We echo the guidance of Clare et al. (2024) to use near‐term and long‐term forecasting in complementary ways. Near‐term forecasts can be used to guide specific management and conservation actions, which can be updated as new data and evidence are collected. Long‐term forecasts can be used to characterize uncertainty further into the future, which can help guide longstanding conservation planning and legislative actions that are based on such uncertainty in possible future outcomes.

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