Call for proposals! How do species distribution models reflect & inform ecological processes?

The fourth series of Grime Reviews will address conceptual issues in species distribution modeling. SDMs are a critical tool for understanding the impacts of environmental change on plant communities, and recent statistical and computational advancements facilitate modeling of potential range shifts of many interacting species across large spatial extents. Moreover, researchers are transcending the limitations of traditional species occurrence data by incorporating genetic, physiological, microclimatic, and other diverse data types into SDMs. Do these developments reflect our improved understanding of species interactions, environmental tolerances, and vegetation structure? Or are they driven primarily by technology, statistical advances, and data availability? This Grime Reviews series will address how the evolution of SDMs both reflects and contributes to our understanding of the ecological processes that shape plant communities. For example, do gradients reflecting resources (e.g., soil nutrients) elicit different species’ responses in SDMs than those related to regulatory gradients (e.g., temperature), as proposed by consumer-resource theory? Do joint species distribution models (jSDMs) indicate the roles of competition and facilitation vary along environmental gradients, as proposed by stress gradient theory? More generally, how can SDM approaches better reflect insights from plant, soil, and vegetation science, such as resource economics, life history theory, and plant-soil feedbacks?

We welcome unsolicited submissions that address conceptual issues in species distribution modeling, especially those that advocate the use of new techniques to re-evaluate theory. Submissions should follow our Review format as described in the Author Guidelines. If you are interested in contributing please email a brief outline (500 words or less) of your proposed contribution to the Journal’s Assistant Editor ( by 15 April 2023. Questions can be addressed to Reviews Editor Jason Fridley (

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