Modelling and Projecting the
Response of Local Terrestrial
Biodiversity Worldwide to Land
Use and Related Pressures:
The PREDICTS Project

Title

Modelling and Projecting the
Response of Local Terrestrial
Biodiversity Worldwide to Land
Use and Related Pressures:
The PREDICTS Project

Description

The PREDICTS project (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial
Systems) has collated ecological survey data from hundreds of published biodiversity
comparisons of sites facing different land-use and related pressures, and used the
resulting taxonomically and geographically broad database (abundance and occurrence
data for over 50,000 species and over 30,000 sites in nearly 100 countries) to
develop global biodiversity models, indicators, and projections. After outlining the science
and science-policy gaps that motivated PREDICTS, this review discusses the key
design decisions that helped it to achieve its objectives. In particular, we discuss basing
models on a large, taxonomically, and geographically representative database, so that
they may be applicable to biodiversity more broadly; space-for-time substitution, which
allows estimation of pressure-state models without the need for representative timeseries
data; and collation of raw data rather than statistical results, greatly expanding
the range of response variables that can be modelled. The heterogeneity of data in
the PREDICTS database has presented a range of modelling challenges: we discuss these
with a focus on our implementation of the Biodiversity Intactness Index, an indicator
with considerable policy potential but which had not previously been estimated from
primary biodiversity data. We then summarise the findings from analyses of how land
use and related pressures affect local (α) diversity and spatial turnover (β diversity), and
how these effects are mediated by ecological attributes of species. We discuss the relevance
of our findings for policy, before ending with some directions of ongoing and
possible future research.

Creator

Purvis A, Newbold T, De Palma A, Contu S, Hill S.L.L, Sanchez-Ortiz K, Philips H.R.P, Hudson L.N, Lysenko I, Borger L, Scharlemann J.P.W

Date

2018

Format

PDF

Language

English

Files

Citation

Purvis A, Newbold T, De Palma A, Contu S, Hill S.L.L, Sanchez-Ortiz K, Philips H.R.P, Hudson L.N, Lysenko I, Borger L, Scharlemann J.P.W, “Modelling and Projecting the
Response of Local Terrestrial
Biodiversity Worldwide to Land
Use and Related Pressures:
The PREDICTS Project,” Biodiversity Conference Virtual Kiosk, accessed November 23, 2020, http://virtual-kiosk.cbd.int/items/show/67.