Influence of different data cleaning solutions of point‐occurrence records on downstream macroecological diversity models

2022-08-04 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Influence of different data cleaning solutions of point‐occurrence records on downstream macroecological diversity models​
Führding‐Potschkat, P.; Kreft, H.   & Ickert‐Bond, S. M.​ (2022) 
Ecology and Evolution12(8).​ DOI: 

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Führding‐Potschkat, Petra; Kreft, Holger ; Ickert‐Bond, Stefanie M.
Abstract Digital point‐occurrence records from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and other data providers enable a wide range of research in macroecology and biogeography. However, data errors may hamper immediate use. Manual data cleaning is time‐consuming and often unfeasible, given that the databases may contain thousands or millions of records. Automated data cleaning pipelines are therefore of high importance. Taking North American Ephedra as a model, we examined how different data cleaning pipelines (using, e.g., the GBIF web application, and four different R packages) affect downstream species distribution models (SDMs). We also assessed how data differed from expert data. From 13,889 North American Ephedra observations in GBIF, the pipelines removed 31.7% to 62.7% false positives, invalid coordinates, and duplicates, leading to datasets between 9484 (GBIF application) and 5196 records (manual‐guided filtering). The expert data consisted of 704 records, comparable to data from field studies. Although differences in the absolute numbers of records were relatively large, species richness models based on stacked SDMs (S‐SDM) from pipeline and expert data were strongly correlated (mean Pearson's r across the pipelines: .9986, vs. the expert data: .9173). Our results suggest that all R package‐based pipelines reliably identified invalid coordinates. In contrast, the GBIF‐filtered data still contained both spatial and taxonomic errors. Major drawbacks emerge from the fact that no pipeline fully discovered misidentified specimens without the assistance of taxonomic expert knowledge. We conclude that application‐filtered GBIF data will still need additional review to achieve higher spatial data quality. Achieving high‐quality taxonomic data will require extra effort, probably by thoroughly analyzing the data for misidentified taxa, supported by experts.
This study examined how data cleaning tools differed in their resulting cleaned GBIF data and how this affected downstream macroecological diversity models. Taxonomic and spatial errors identified in the GBIF Ephedra data, filter categories: false positives. image
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Ecology and Evolution 
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Biodiversität, Makroökologie und Biogeographie 
Georg‐August‐Universität Göttingen
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2022



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