ENM Workflow

The ENM workflow offers a framework to study geographic distributions of many species under various climatic scenarios. ENM uses associations between known species occurrences and environmental variables to calculate areas of habitat suitability for a species using statistical correlation models.

Who is it for?

Researchers in ecology and evolution analyzing biogeographic patterns over large spatial, temporal, environmental and taxonomic scales.

What is it for?

Studies of species adaptations to climate change, dynamic modelling of ecologically related species, identification of regions with accumulated risk for invasion, potential for restoration, or need for protection.

How does it work?

This workflow takes as input a file containing species occurrence points to create an ecological niche model with the OpenModeller Web service. Algorithm, environmental layers and geographic area are selected during the workflow. The model is tested (internal test and optional cross validation external test) and then projected one or more times. All points from the input file are used to create a single model, even if there are differences in the scientific names. Model projections can be downloaded from the links in the workflow output.

Expected results

Potential distribution maps for a large number of species and para-
meter settings.

Links to workflow and user documentation

Workflow on myExperiment



Example of use: modelling European forest insect pests

Potential changes in the distribution of major European forest insect pests were analyzed for various climate change scenarios. This involved first modelling the historical and current distribution of both host trees and the insects. Then, likely changes in the distribution of the host trees were modelled and this information was used as the environmental inputs for modelling the future potential distribution of the insects. To achieve the predictions, a dynamic repository of modeled host and pest distributions historically and also into the future was built. Both GBIF occurrences and actual forest damage reports from the EFI-Alterra Database of Forest Disturbances in Europe were used as data sources. The predictions showed that the damage by most major insect pests will spread about 500 km towards north east by the year 2050, but much uncertainty lies in how far the host trees will actually be capable of moving or will be planted.


Tortrix viridana (GBIF occurrence dataset)




19 February 2015

At the final review of the project by the EC, one of the reviewers said: “Incredible work done with a community that is not unified. Remarkable work. It opens for new development in a near future. Hope for success. Good project. Happy that you have been financed three plus years ago.”

Read all about the project and its results in the Project Final Report or read the Executive Summary only.