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The importance of biotic interactions in distribution models depends on the type of ecological relations, spatial scale and range.
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  • Merijn Moens,
  • Jacobus Biesmeijer,
  • Elaine Huang,
  • Nicolas Vereecken,
  • Leon Marshall
Merijn Moens
Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jacobus Biesmeijer
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
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Elaine Huang
Wageningen University & Research
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Nicolas Vereecken
ULB Université Libre de Bruxelles
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Leon Marshall
Universite de Namur
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Classical Species Distribution Models are primarily based on climate, land use and other abiotic variables. Despite recent studies showing that biotic information can play an important role in shaping the distribution of species even at large scales, results are not always consistent among studies and the underlying factors that influence the importance of this biotic information to the models, are unclear. To address this knowledge gap, we evaluated how different factors affect the importance of biotic interactions in shaping species distributions, using fine-scale data from plant-pollinator and parasitic interactions in the Netherlands. We found that the models of wild bees improved, when their biotic interaction was included, and the model performance improved the most for parasitic bees. Taxonomic level, resolution and distribution range of the interacting species and degree of specialization of the modelled species all affected the importance of the biotic interactions to the models.