avatar for Jake Lawlor

Jake Lawlor

Student Speaker | Étudiant.e
Montréal, Québec

Contact Me

co-presentation with Brit van Amerom. 


Climate change biogeography is a subject of increasing attention in recent years as species redistribute across environmental gradients in space. Empirical observations of species range shifts that have already occurred offer critical insights into drivers and constraints on species ranges, yet our ability to observe these shifts is limited by data availability and resolution over large spatial and temporal scales. The often-opportunistic nature of large-scale biogeography research leads to inconsistency in methodological techniques between range-shift observation studies, and this inconsistency may present barriers when comparing results from one study to another. Here, we use a systematic review of range shift literature to summarize the most common methods in empirical range shift detection efforts, focusing on total temporal duration over which the study was conducted, sampling frequency during that duration, and number of species included in range shift detections. Then, we use one particularly high-resolution range shift dataset to quantify error that could have been introduced by the use of different methodological techniques on the same data. This work builds towards a framework for disentangling methodological bias from inherent differences in environments or biology when comparing range shifts globally, and helps to form a ‘best practice’ for range shift detection efforts in the future.