Modeling the distribution of odonates: A review

Steven D. Collins, Nancy E. McIntyre

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Species distribution models (SDMs) can be used to answer a variety of questions about Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) distributions because locality data for species are readily available. We provide an overview of SDMs and review 30 studies that have used SDMs to examine factors governing odonate distributions in current and projected future scenarios. These studies had objectives that included predicting the potential geographical distribution of a species based on scattered records, quantifying hotspots for biodiversity and identifying reserve gaps, assessing species' environmental requirements and limitations, quantifying dispersal abilities of species with different life histories, studying niche conservatism among sympatric species, modeling the effect of forecasted climate change on species distributions, and examining the efficacy of different modeling approaches. We point out limitations in the use of SDMs for these purposes, including effects of limited taxonomic coverage and limited spatial resolution at fine scales. We also highlight potential future areas where use of SDMs can advance our knowledge of odonate-environment interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1144-1158
Number of pages15
JournalFreshwater Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2015


  • Damselfly
  • Dragonfly
  • Insect
  • Niche modeling
  • Odonata
  • Species distribution modeling


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