Maxent Model Surveyor 1.04 released

I’ve just posted a new version of Maxent Model Surveyor on my web site (link).

Maxent Model Surveyor is a program that evaluates different sets of predictors and different model complexities for Maxent niche modeling. It automatically calculates the test AUC and the Akaike and Bayesian information criteria (AIC, BIC; Warren & Seifert 2011) under the various predictor sets and model complexities and suggests “suitable” sets of predictors and model complexities for your dataset.

Version 1.04 includes the option to specify a custom test dataset when exploring models based on test AUC. I’ve included this option because we wanted to identify a suitable set of predictors that would not bias analyses towards one or the other ocean basin (Atlantic vs. Indo-Pacific). We have many species that occur in one of both ocean basins and when comparing models between strictly Atlantic and strictly Indo-Pacific species, environmental differences between ocean basins could in theory bias the comparison. To avoid this, one could look for predictor sets that have good predictive power across ocean basins for species that do occur in both ocean basins and avoid those predictor sets that don’t.

In closing I want to mention that I’ve renamed this program to Maxent Model Surveyor (instead of the previous Maxent Model Selector) because “surveying” is a more appropriate description of what it does and I don’t want to encourage people to simply let the program “select” a predictor set and model complexity. Programs like this are no substitute for a good understanding of your organism’s physiology and serve as a guiding tool only.

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