Special Issue "A Step Forward in Modelling Biodiversity under Future Climates: How to Make Better Scenarios?"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability, Biodiversity and Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Eric Goberville
Guest Editor
BOREA (Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems) Laboratory, Sorbonne University, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 61, Rue Buffon CP53, 75005 Paris, France
Interests: Species distribution modelling; niche-based models; biodiversity; climate change; projections; biogeography; large-scale patterns; uncertainties; model accuracy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last decades, global climate change has caused consistent patterns of physiological, phenological, and biogeographic shifts in species, sometimes leading to major changes in the “state” of ecosystems, with putative social and economic consequences. As warming is likely to range between ~1 and ~5 °C by 2100, these changes may amplify toward the end of this century. To investigate the potential implications of future climate change for biodiversity, empirical ecologists mainly rely on the relation between species and their environment, using not only the ecological niche concept, but also the duality between the niche and species distribution in modelling frameworks, called ecological (or environmental) niche nodels (ENMs), species distribution models (SDMs), or habitat models, depending on how these models are built or applied. In a global biodiversity crisis context, and because of the continuously growing availability of biodiversity and environmental data, and computing resources, such models have been intensively used over the last years (~900 publications in peer-reviewed journals over the last five years).

While recent advances in climate modelling have led to the availability of robust estimates for future climate/environmental conditions, as well as their related uncertainties, biodiversity modelling is yet far from reaching a comparable level of precision, and ecological modelers (ENMs/SDMs) have to face a number of theoretical and methodological questions and limitations, such as the following:

- How to better quantify uncertainties in the projection of species distributions (e.g., data quality, statistical methods, and future climate conditions)?

- How to include the key role of biotic interactions—known to shape species distributions—in distributional models?

- How to parametrize species dispersal abilities?

- How to combine physiological and spatial observations to predict species' ranges?

- Could ecological models, through the assessment of the reciprocal relationships and potential feedbacks between biodiversity and future climate, help to support the development of a new generation of climate models?

This list of questions, far from being exhaustive, shows that many still pending issues have to be addressed in order to increase our confidence in the validity and the meaningfulness of biodiversity scenarios.

This Special Issue aims to propose a collection of studies that discuss and assess the current issues in species distribution modelling. The papers must propose new ideas, numerical approaches and tools, and modelling frameworks that will contribute to help ecological modelers to produce more adequate scenarios of biodiversity changes under future climate conditions. Publications selected for this Special Issue will benefit from high visibility and wide dissemination.

Dr. Eric Goberville
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • species distribution modelling
  • niche-based modelling
  • biodiversity
  • climate change
  • ecosystem functioning
  • uncertainties
  • data quality
  • predictive accuracy
  • niche metrics
  • validation
  • biotic interactions
  • dispersal capabilities
  • hindcasting and forecasting
  • ensemble models
  • downscaling
  • conservation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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