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GIS data for predicting the occurrence of cave-inhabiting fauna based on features of the Earth surface environment in the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) Region

Metadata Updated: October 28, 2023

Cave-limited species display patchy and restricted distributions, but are challenging to study in-situ because of the difficulty of sampling. It is often unclear whether the observed distribution is a sampling artifact or a true restriction in range. Further, the drivers of the distribution could be local environmental conditions, such as cave humidity, or they could be associated with surface features that are surrogates for cave conditions. If surface features can be used to predict the distribution of important cave taxa, then conservation management goals can be more easily obtained.
These GIS data represent the input and results of a spatial statistical model used to examine the hypothesis that the presence of major faunal groups of cave obligate species could be predicted based on features of the earth surface. Georeferenced records of cave obligate amphipods, crayfish, fish, isopods, beetles, millipedes, pseudoscorpions, spiders, and springtails within the area of Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) in the eastern United States (Illinois to Virginia, and New York to Alabama) were assigned to 20 x 20 km grid cells. Habitat suitability for these faunal groups was modeled using logistic regression with twenty predictor variables within each grid cell, such as percent karst, soil features, temperature, precipitation, and elevation. The models successfully predicted the presence of a group greater than 65 percent of the time (mean=88 percent) for the presence of single grid cell endemics, and for all faunal groups except pseudoscorpions. The most common predictor variables were latitude, percent karst, and the standard deviation of the Topographic Position Index (TPI), a measure of landscape rugosity within each grid cell. The overall success of these models points to a number of important connections between the surface and cave environments, and some of these, especially soil features and topographic variability, suggest new research directions. These models should prove to be useful tools in predicting the presence of species in understudied areas.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 28, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 28, 2023
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Identifier USGS:57684f72e4b07657d19f59ea
Data Last Modified 20200819
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id f2b1eddb-72bd-4cb2-a01e-6cb70052eb09
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -90.0,31.0,-73.0,45.0
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash c9b21b88a3c0c06b1e590e28bc715f82b1b76d3b386846241e7d2ee3680549ad
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -90.0, 31.0, -90.0, 45.0, -73.0, 45.0, -73.0, 31.0, -90.0, 31.0}

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