Slide 27: Principles
In order to select an appropriate model, we need to take the following into account:
What is the question you want to answer? In some cases this will lead directly to a specific model type.
The data guides decisions as well:What environmental data do you have access to?
What is the resolution and extent of this data?
Categorical or continuous data?
The scale of the model is important.Thuiller et al showed in 2003 that GAMs are better at performing consistently across scales due to their ability to model complex response curves. However, certain other models might work better at a specific scale.
Certain variables are highly relevant at a fine scale but have little overall effect at a larger scale, and vice versa - ie: the guiding factors are scale-depndent.
For a good example of an informed model solution, have a look at Gibson et al's paper of 2004.
Many papers have been published comparing different models, and a summary of these studies has been prepared by Segurado and Araujo (2005), and Thuiller et al (2003).