Home - Project - Climatic Modelling of Distribution Ranges of Plant Species / Erik Welk, Gunnar Seidler, Christiane Katterfeld

Welcome to the Pages of the Working Group Chorology und Macroecology at the Institute of Geobotany of the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg!

Research Project „Climatic Modelling of Distribution Ranges of Plant Species“

These pages introduce to the goals, basics, methods and results of the research project „Climatic modelling of distribution ranges of plant species“.

Climate data based models of species’ geographic distributions are essential for solution of pressing problems of mankind, such as global change or biological invasions. They are used increasingly for the spatial prediction of environmental changes.

On the continental scale of general distribution ranges macroclimatic data layers are interpolated from point data of meteorological stations. At present, these are the only global data of abiotic factors in reasonable resolution.

Due to this fact climate based models of distribution patterns are particularly important. However, climate is not the only environmental factor acting on spatial scales. Further research and development of models is necessary to enhance and evaluate the validity of predictions as well as to differentiate the prediction probabilities spatially.


- Analysis of climatic controls of different types of distribution ranges, range parts and range boundaries
- Development of a hierarchic analysis system, for tests of the relation between the model applicability and biologic-chorological traits
- Improvement of validity of prediction and spatial differentiation of probabilities


- Distribution ranges cannot be modelled with spatially consistent quality
- Parts of distribution ranges are differing regarding the applicability of climate based models
- Boundaries of distribution ranges may not be described by constant combinations of factors


Work done in the project was divided into independent levels. Analyses have been carried focussing on the relationship between the climatic structure of distribution ranges and types of distribution ranges. Further on the maximum achievable quality of models and charactersitics of the specific climate-distribution range equilibrium have been compared. ( Project )

Research is carried in order to improve analysis- and prediction models using total ranges. Hence the described methods are just partial stages of more complex modelling methods. We aim for further results from more differentiated algorithms to integrate these in the overall modelling process. ( Analysis / Modelling - Basics )

For a total of ca. 1310 Plant-taxa, data of distribution ranges have been climatically analysed and modelled. Specific measures for the climate-distribution range equilibrium have been developed and applied.
254 tribes were categorised by MEUSEL & JÄGER to the system of types of distribution ranges. In the context of this categorisation system results have been compared. ( Catalogue ) Further 400 species are taken from the Eurasian
Catalogue ) and 679 species from the North American flora (woody species). ( Catalogue )

The website will be updated continuously since calculations and analyses take much time.

Areal, Areale, Pflanzenareal, Pflanzenareale, Pflanzenverbreitung, Arealanalyse, Arealprognose, Arealmodellierung, klimatische Modellierung, areal, areals, plant distribution, plant distributions, areal prognosis, areal modelling, climatic modelling, Christiane Katterfeld, Chr. Katterfeld, Gunnar Seidler, G. Seidler, Erik Welk, E. Welk, AG Chorologie