Doug Yanega dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU
Tue Sep 3 09:47:08 CDT 2002

Richard Jensen wrote:

>One thing that seems to have been overlooked is that, if the models are
>fundamentally sound,  the distributions they predict might suggest areas where
>we should be looking for certain taxa.  If we then discover the taxa
>are there,
>that reinforces the model; if the taxa are not there, that tells us the model
>needs refining.  Either way, Tom is right - we must rely on field
>work itself to
>verify the distributions predicted by the models.

The problem comes when the model fails to include areas which are
known from ground-truthing to actually *contain* the species in
question. I've seen this happen, and the modeler then simply says
"Well, that observation must have been of a transitory population
which will die out, since the habitat won't support the species
there" - and nothing will change their mind. That, to me, is someone
who is WAY too enamored of their model.
How does one counter that sort of myopia?


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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