Spatial modelling of plants species distribution


The Spatial Ecology group at the University of Lausanne is specialized in predictive habitat distribution modeling, mainly at the level of species, but also at the level of communities and habitat types.

This approach is currently being developed and tested as tools for the management or rare and endangered species, for evaluating the invasive potential of neophytes plant species, for evaluating landscape diversity and fragmentation, as well as for preparing scenarios of climate change impact on plant species distribution, diversity and communities. More dynamic models are also being developed for simulating the spread of species in the landscape, for instance after a climatic change or to simulate invasion processes. Finally, the set-up of permanent observation plots for monitoring the flora and fauna is another development of our group. It aims at testing, in a near or later future, the validity of our models and scenarios.

Our preferred study areas are alpine landscapes of the Swiss Prealps of Vaud and the national scale. Modeled species include Eryngium alpinum (rare and threatened) and Ambrosia artemisiifolia (invasive). We also use simulation, such as virtual species in a real landscape, to solve methodological problems and questions.

Recent Publications

  • Synthesizing plausible futures for biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe and Central Asia using scenario archetypes
    Harrison, PA; Harmackova, ZV; Karabulut, AA; Brotons, L; Cantele, M; Claudet, J; Dunford, RW; Guisan, A; Holman, IP; Jacobs, S; Kok, K; Lobanova, A; Moran-Ordonez, A; Pedde, S; Rixen, C; Santos-Martin, F; Schlaepfer, MA; Solidoro, C; Sonrel, A; Hauck, J
    ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY, 24 (2):10.5751/ES-10818-240227 JUL 2019
  • A comprehensive evaluation of predictive performance of 33 species distribution models at species and community levels
    Norberg, A; Abrego, N; Blanchet, FG; Adler, FR; Anderson, BJ; Anttila, J; Araujo, MB; Dallas, T; Dunson, D; Elith, J; Foster, SD; Fox, R; Franklin, J; Godsoe, W; Guisan, A; O'Hara, B; Hill, NA; Holt, RD; Hui, FKC; Husby, M; Kalas, JA; Lehikoinen, A; Luoto, M; Mod, HK; Newell, G; Renner, I; Roslin, T; Soininen, J; Thuiller, W; Vanhatalo, J; Warton, D; White, M; Zimmermann, NE; Gravel, D; Ovaskainen, O
    ECOLOGICAL MONOGRAPHS, 89 (3):10.1002/ecm.1370 AUG 2019
  • Genetic diversity in frogs linked to past and future climate changes on the roof of the world
    Hu, JH; Huang, Y; Jiang, JP; Guisan, A
    JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY, 88 (6):953-963; 10.1111/1365-2656.12974 JUN 2019
  • Climate and land-use changes reshuffle politically-weighted priority areas of mountain biodiversity
    Vincent, C; Fernandes, RF; Cardoso, AR; Broennimann, O; Di Cola, V; D'Amen, M; Ursenbacher, S; Schmidt, BR; Pradervand, JN; Pellissier, L; Guisan, A
    GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION, 17 10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00589 JAN 2019
  • Species distribution models support the need of international cooperation towards successful management of plant invasions
    Fernandes, RF; Honrado, JP; Guisan, A; Roxo, A; Alves, P; Martins, J; Vicente, JR
    JOURNAL FOR NATURE CONSERVATION, 49 85-94; 10.1016/j.jnc.2019.04.001 JUN 2019
  • Spatial modelling of soil water holding capacity improves models of plant distributions in mountain landscapes
    Cianfrani, C; Buri, A; Vittoz, P; Grand, S; Zingg, B; Verrecchia, E; Guisan, A
    PLANT AND SOIL, 438 (1-2):57-70; 10.1007/s11104-019-04016-x MAY 2019
  • Modelling bat distributions and diversity in a mountain landscape using focal predictors in ensemble of small models
    Scherrer, Daniel; Christe, Philippe; Guisan, Antoine
    DIVERSITY AND DISTRIBUTIONS, 25 (5):770-782; 10.1111/ddi.12893 MAY 2019
  • Hierarchical species distribution models in support of vegetation conservation at the landscape scale
    Mateo, RG; Gaston, A; Aroca-Fernandez, MJ; Broennimann, O; Guisan, A; Saura, S; Garcia-Vinas, JI
    JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE, 30 (2):386-396; 10.1111/jvs.12726 MAR 2019
  • Climate and land-use changes reshuffle politically-weighted priority areas of mountain biodiversity
    Vincent, C; Fernandes, RF; Cardoso, AR; Broennimann, O; Di Cola, V; D'Amen, M; Ursenbacher, S; Schmidt, BR; Pradervand, JN; Pellissier, L; Guisan, A
    GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION, 17 10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00589 JAN 2019
  • Archaeorhizomycetes Spatial Distribution in Soils Along Wide Elevational and Environmental Gradients Reveal Co-abundance Patterns With Other Fungal Saprobes and Potential Weathering Capacities
    Pinto-Figueroa, EA; Seddon, E; Yashiro, E; Buri, A; Niculita-Hirzel, H; van der Meer, JR; Guisan, A
    FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 10 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00656 APR 4 2019
  • A minimalist model of extinction and range dynamics of virtual mountain species driven by warming temperatures
    Giezendanner, J; Bertuzzo, E; Pasetto, D; Guisan, A; Rinaldo, A
    PLOS ONE, 14 (3):10.1371/journal.pone.0213775 MAR 18 2019
  • Of niches and distributions: range size increases with niche breadth both globally and regionally but regional estimates poorly relate to global estimates
    Kambach, S; Lenoir, J; Decocq, G; Welk, E; Seidler, G; Dullinger, S; Gegout, JC; Guisan, A; Pauli, H; Svenning, JC; Vittoz, P; Wohlgemuth, T; Zimmermann, NE; Bruelheide, H
    ECOGRAPHY, 42 (3):467-477; 10.1111/ecog.03495 MAR 2019
  • Ecological indicator values reveal missing predictors of species distributions
    Scherrer, Daniel; Guisan, Antoine
    SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 9 10.1038/s41598-019-39133-1 FEB 28 2019
  • Disentangling the processes driving plant assemblages in mountain grasslands across spatial scales and environmental gradients
    Scherrer, D; Mod, HK; Pottier, J; Litsios-Dubuis, A; Pellissier, L; Vittoz, P; Gotzenberger, L; Zobel, M; Guisan, A
    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, 107 (1):265-278; 10.1111/1365-2745.13037 JAN 2019
  • Effects of simulated observation errors on the performance of species distribution models
    Fernandes, Rui F.; Scherrer, Daniel; Guisan, Antoine
    DIVERSITY AND DISTRIBUTIONS, 25 (3):400-413; 10.1111/ddi.12868 MAR 2019
  • Standards for distribution models in biodiversity assessments
    Araujo, MB; Anderson, RP; Barbosa, AM; Beale, CM; Dormann, CF; Early, R; Garcia, RA; Guisan, A; Maiorano, L; Naimi, B; O'Hara, RB; Zimmermann, NE; Rahbek, C
    SCIENCE ADVANCES, 5 (1):10.1126/sciadv.aat4858 JAN 2019
  • Generalizing soil properties in geographic space: Approaches used and ways forward
    Cianfrani, C; Buri, A; Verrecchia, E; Guisan, A
    PLOS ONE, 13 (12):10.1371/journal.pone.0208823 DEC 21 2018
  • Using macroecological constraints on spatial biodiversity predictions under climate change: the modelling method matters
    Di Febbraro, M; D'Amen, M; Raia, P; De Rosa, D; Loy, A; Guisan, A
    ECOLOGICAL MODELLING, 390 79-87; 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2018.10.023 DEC 24 2018
  • Species divergence and maintenance of species cohesion of three closely related Primula species in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
    Ren, GP; Mateo, RG; Guisan, A; Conti, E; Salamin, N
    JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY, 45 (11):2495-2507; 10.1111/jbi.13415 NOV 2018
  • Slimy invasion: Climatic niche and current and future biogeography of Arion slug invaders
    Zemanova, MA; Broennimann, O; Guisan, A; Knop, E; Heckel, G
    DIVERSITY AND DISTRIBUTIONS, 24 (11):1627-1640; 10.1111/ddi.12789 NOV 2018
  • How much should one sample to accurately predict the distribution of species assemblages? A virtual community approach
    Fernandes, Rui F.; Scherrer, Daniel; Guisan, Antoine
    ECOLOGICAL INFORMATICS, 48 125-134; 10.1016/j.ecoinf.2018.09.002 NOV 2018
  • How to best threshold and validate stacked species assemblages? Community optimisation might hold the answer
    Scherrer, D; D'Amen, M; Fernandes, RF; Mateo, RG; Guisan, A
    METHODS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 9 (10):2155-2166; 10.1111/2041-210X.13041 OCT 2018
  • Trade-offs and synergies between bird conservation and wildfire suppression in the face of global change
    Regos, A; Hermoso, V; D'Amen, M; Guisan, A; Brotons, L
    JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, 55 (5):2181-2192; 10.1111/1365-2664.13182 SEP 2018
  • Biogeophysical controls on soil-atmosphere thermal differences: implications on warming Arctic ecosystems
    Aalto, J; Scherrer, D; Lenoir, J; Guisan, A; Luoto, M
    ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 13 (7):10.1088/1748-9326/aac83e JUL 2018
  • More than range exposure: Global otter vulnerability to climate change
    Cianfrani, C; Broennimann, O; Loy, A; Guisan, A
    BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, 221 103-113; 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.02.031 MAY 2018
  • Models of Coupled Settlement and Habitat Networks for Biodiversity Conservation: Conceptual Framework, Implementation and Potential Applications
    van Strien, MJ; Axhausen, KW; Dubernet, I; Guisan, A; Gret-Regamey, A; Khiali-Miab, A; Ortiz-Rodriguez, DO; Holderegger, R
    FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 6 10.3389/fevo.2018.00041 APR 16 2018
  • Meta-scale mountain grassland observatories uncover commonalities as well as specific interactions among plant and non-rhizosphere soil bacterial communities
    Yashiro, E; Pinto-Figueroa, E; Buri, A; Spangenberg, JE; Adatte, T; Niculita-Hirzel, H; Guisan, A; van der Meer, JR
    SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 8 10.1038/s41598-018-24253-x APR 10 2018
  • Optimizing ensembles of small models for predicting the distribution of species with few occurrences
    Breiner, FT; Nobis, MP; Bergamini, A; Guisan, A
    METHODS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 9 (4):802-808; https://10.1111/2041-210X.12957 APR 2018
  • The impact of endothermy on the climatic niche evolution and the distribution of vertebrate diversity 
    Rolland, Jonathan; Silvestro, Daniele; Schluter, Dolph; et al. 
    NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 2 (3):459-464; 10.1038/s41559-017-0451-9 MAR 2018
  • Reconstructing geographical parthenogenesis: effects of niche differentiation and reproductive mode on Holocene range expansion of an alpine plant 
    Kirchheimer, Bernhard; Wessely, Johannes; Gattringer, Andreas; et al. 
    ECOLOGY LETTERS, 21 (3): 392-401 MAR 2018
  • Learning from model errors: Can land use, edaphic and very high-resolution topo-climatic factors improve macroecological models of mountain grasslands? 
    Baudraz, Maude E. A.; Pradervand, Jean-Nicolas; Beauverd, Melanie; et al. 
    JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY, 45 (2): 429-437 FEB 2018
  • Improving spatial predictions of taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity 
    D'Amen, Manuela; Mateo, Ruben G.; Pottier, Julien; et al. 
    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, 106 (1): 76-86 JAN 2018
Guisan Antoine

Prof. Dr. Antoine Guisan
University of Lausanne
Department of Ecology and Evolution
1015 Lausanne

Tel: +41 (0)21 692 42 54

Research topics

  • Plant species – environment relationships
  • Environmental niche stability in space and time
  • Rare plant species modelling, model-based sampling,
  • Anticipating plant invasions, weed risk assessments
  • Climate threat to plant diversity, predicting range shifts and extinctions
  • Dispersal modelling and future plant migrations in fragmented landscapes
  • Assembling species predictions into communities, biotic interactions
  • Spatial modelling of functional and phylogenetic plant diversity