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The benefits of a compute cluster approach to high spatial resolution biodiversity richness modelling: projecting the impact of climate change on Mediterranean flora

Heap, M. J., Culham, A. and Osborne, J. (2012) The benefits of a compute cluster approach to high spatial resolution biodiversity richness modelling: projecting the impact of climate change on Mediterranean flora. The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, 4 (1). pp. 115-128. ISSN 1835-7156

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Official URL: http://ijc.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.185/prod.17...

Abstract/Summary

High spatial resolution environmental data gives us a better understanding of the environmental factors affecting plant distributions at fine spatial scales. However, large environmental datasets dramatically increase compute times and output species model size stimulating the need for an alternative computing solution. Cluster computing offers such a solution, by allowing both multiple plant species Environmental Niche Models (ENMs) and individual tiles of high spatial resolution models to be computed concurrently on the same compute cluster. We apply our methodology to a case study of 4,209 species of Mediterranean flora (around 17% of species believed present in the biome). We demonstrate a 16 times speed-up of ENM computation time when 16 CPUs were used on the compute cluster. Our custom Java ‘Merge’ and ‘Downsize’ programs reduce ENM output files sizes by 94%. The median 0.98 test AUC score of species ENMs is aided by various species occurrence data filtering techniques. Finally, by calculating the percentage change of individual grid cell values, we map the projected percentages of plant species vulnerable to climate change in the Mediterranean region between 1950–2000 and 2020.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:30443
Publisher:Common Ground Publisher

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