PointedSDMs: An R package to help facilitate the construction of integrated species distribution models
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Ecological data are being collected at a large scale from a multitude of different sources, each with their own sampling protocols and assumptions. As a result, the integration of disparate datasets is a rapidly growing area in quantitative ecology, and is subsequently becoming a major asset in understanding the shifts and trends in species' distributions. However, the tools and software available to construct statistical models to integrate these disparate datasets into a unified framework is lacking. This has made these methods inaccessible to general practitioners and has stagnated the growth of data integration in more applied settings. We therefore present PointedSDMs: an easy to use R package used to construct integrated species distribution models. It provides functions to easily format the data, fit the models in a computationally efficient way and presents the output in a format that is convenient for additional work. This paper illustrates the different uses and functions available in the package, which are designed to simplify the modelling of integrated models. A case study using the package is also presented: combining three datasets coming from different sampling protocols, all containing records of Setophaga caerulescens across Pennsylvania state.