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Maxent - Technical Details
Maxent is a method for modeling species distributions by relating species occurrence data to one or more environmental variables. The idea of Maxent is to estimate a species' distribution by finding the distribution of maximum entropy (i.e., that is most spread out, or closest to uniform) subject to a set of constraints defined by the environmental conditions at the occurrence locations.
The method has a number of features that make it well-suited for species distribution modeling, including:
- using presence- only species data,
- allowing both continuous and categorical environmental variables,
- easily incorporating interactions between explanatory variables,
- providing model predictions in the form of probability of occurrence, and
- employing efficient deterministic algorithms that are guaranteed to converge to the distribution that maximizes entropy.
For the MaxEnt models presented here, we used the following 6 climate variables:
- annual mean temperature,
- maximum temperature of warmest month,
- minimum temperature of coldest month,
- annual precipitation,
- precipitation of warmest month, and
- precipitation of coldest month.
Click on this link for more details on Maxent and Maximum Entropy modeling.
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