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Expert Knowledge as a Basis for Landscape Ecological Predictive Models

  • C. Ashton Drew
  • Ajith H. Perera
Chapter

Abstract

Defining an appropriate role for expert knowledge in science can lead to contentious debate. The professional experience of ecologists, elicited as expert judgment, plays an essential role in many aspects of landscape ecological science. Experts may be asked to judge the relevance of competing research or management questions, the quality and suitability of available data, the best balance of complexity and parsimony, and the appropriate application of model output. Even the initial decision to pursue modeling follows expert judgment regarding the cost and benefits of a model relative to data collection and the suitability of alternative modeling approaches for the specific application. Increasingly, however, professionals are asked to provide expertise to complement or even substitute for scarce data in landscape ecological models, by quantifying their personal experiences and anecdotal observations. In such cases, the professional is asked to reference their knowledge against geospatial data or landscape metrics derived from such data. We offer our chapter to raise awareness and promote discussion of this particular development within landscape ecological modeling. We draw examples from cases where expertise is provided as data in support of the predictive species-habitat models used to inform conservation planning objectives and strategies.

Keywords

Home Range Geographic Information System Expert Knowledge Expert Judgment Landscape Metrics 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank J. Collazo and two anonymous reviewers for helpful ­comments provided on an earlier draft of this chapter.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+BUsiness Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Carolina Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit, Department of BiologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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