Assess model overlap with Schoener’s D, Hellinger distance and Warren’s I

Metrics for quantifying the similarity among ecological niche models are important for testing patterns of niche evolution. The modOverlap function, used e.g. by Reino et al. (in press) and now included in the fuzzySim package (>=1.5), calculates three such metrics: Shoener’s D statistic for niche overlap, Hellinger distance between probability distributions, and the I similarity statistic of Warren et al. (2008).

These formulas are also implemented e.g. within the niche.overlap function of R package phyloclim, but there they require input data in complex and software-specific formats. The function below calculates these indices from simply two vectors or columns containing the predictions of the two models to compare.

modOverlap <- function (pred1, pred2, na.rm = TRUE) 
    p1 <- pred1/sum(pred1, na.rm = na.rm)
    p2 <- pred2/sum(pred2, na.rm = na.rm)
    SchoenerD <- 1 - 0.5 * sum(abs(p1 - p2), na.rm = na.rm)
    HellingerDist <- sqrt(sum((sqrt(p1) - sqrt(p2))^2, na.rm = na.rm))
    WarrenI <- 1 - ((HellingerDist^2)/2)
    list(SchoenerD = SchoenerD, WarrenI = WarrenI, HellingerDist = HellingerDist)

[presented with Pretty R]

See also the fuzSim function in the fuzzySim package, which calculates fuzzy versions of classic binary similarity indices such as Jaccard, Baroni-Urbani & Buser, Sorensen and Simpson (Barbosa 2015).



Barbosa A.M. (2015) fuzzySim: applying fuzzy logic to binary similarity indices in ecology. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 6: 853-858

Reino L., Ferreira M., Martínez-Solano I., Segurado P., Xu C. & Barbosa A.M. (in press) Favourable areas for co-occurrence of parapatric species: niche conservatism and niche divergence in Iberian tree frogs and midwife toads. Journal of Biogeography

Warren D.L., Glor R.E. & Turelli, M. (2008) Environmental niche equivalency versus conservatism: quantitative approaches to niche evolution. Evolution, 62: 2868-83 [plus ERRATUM]



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