Colonisation-extinction data for the epiphytic bryophyte Neckera pennata

SND-ID: SND 1073

Creator/Principal investigator(s)


Knowledge on the colonization process is important to understand and project future species distributions. The classic method to quantify colonization rates is time-consuming, as it requires recording infrequent colonization events during extensive, repeated surveys.

We present the novel ‘dating-based approach’ that requires one complete survey of species occurrence and estimates of subpopulation ages to back-date colonization events. These data allow statistical reconstruction of a virtual, repeated survey to estimate colonization rates in response to environmental covariates or connectivity.

With only 30% of survey effort, the dating-based approach provided similar estimates of rate and distance of dispersal of a moss metapopulation as the classic approach relying on long-term surveys. Projections of the number of colonization events during the next 100 years differed by only 2.3% (95%-credible interval: [-1.9%; 7.1%]) between methods.

The dating-based approach is applicable across spatial scales and promises enhancing species distribution models with urgently needed quantitative disp

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Research principal, contributors, and funding


  • Funding agency: Swedish Research Council
  • Funding agency's reference number: 2012-3760
Protection and ethical review
Method and time period

Unit of analysis

Sampling procedure

Total universe/Complete enumeration

Time period(s) investigated

1997 – 2010

Geographic coverage

Geographic spread

Geographic location: Sweden


Singer A, Bradter U, Fabritius H, Snäll T. In press. Dating past colonization events to project future species distributions. Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

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Colonisation-extinction data for the epiphytic bryophyte Neckera pennata

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Version 1.0


Tord Snäll. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2018). Colonisation-extinction data for the epiphytic bryophyte Neckera pennata. Swedish National Data Service. Version 1.0.

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Data format / data structure



Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Time period(s) investigated

1997 – 2010




Published: 2018-11-30
Last updated: 2018-12-11