Current Zoology(formerly Acta Zoologica Sinica),   Feb. 2009, 55(1): 28 - 40
Title: Relative accuracy of spatial predictive models for lynx Lynx canadensis derived using logistic regression-AIC, multiple criteria evaluation and Bayesian approaches
Authors: Hejun KANG, Shelley M. ALEXANDER
 S c h o o l   o f   G e o g r a p h y   a n d   E a r t h   S c i e n c e s ,   M c M a s t e r   U n i v e r s i t y ,   C a n a d a 

We compared probability surfaces derived using one set of environmental variables in three Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based approaches: logistic regression and Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC), Multiple Criteria Evaluation (MCE), and Bayesian Analysis (specifically Dempster-Shafer theory).  We used lynx Lynx canadensis as our focal species, and developed our environment relationship model using track data collected in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, during winters from 1997 to 2000.  The accuracy of the three spatial models were compared using a contingency table method.  We determined the percentage of cases in which both presence and absence points were correctly classified (overall accuracy), the failure to predict a species where it occurred (omission error) and the prediction of presence where there was absence (commission error).   Our overall accuracy showed the logistic regression approach was the most accurate (74.51%).  The multiple criteria evaluation was intermediate (39.22%), while the Dempster-Shafer (D-S) theory model was the poorest (29.90%).  However, omission and commission error tell us a different story: logistic regression had the lowest commission error, while D-S theory produced the lowest omission error.  Our results provide evidence that habitat modellers should evaluate all three error measures when ascribing confidence in their model.  We suggest that for our study area at least, the logistic regression model is optimal.  However, where sample size is small or the species is very rare, it may also be useful to explore and/or use a more ecologically cautious modelling approach (e.g. Dempster-Shafer) that would over-predict, protect more sites, and thereby minimize the risk of missing critical habitat in conservation plans[Current Zoology 55(1): 28 – 40, 2009]. 

Keywords: Bayesian Analysis (Dempster-Shafer), GIS, Habitat, Logistic regression, Lynx canadensis, Multiple Criteria Evaluation (MCE)

*Correspondence should be addressed to Shelley M. ALEXANDER (

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