Home > R > Getting and managing occurrence data from gbif.org

Getting and managing occurrence data from gbif.org

The R package dismo by Hijman et al. offers a very powerful function named gbif that allows to get occurence data from the gbif dabase.

For example if we are to map the geographical range of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata we simply do:

distr <- gbif(genus="Ceratitis", species="capitata*", geo=TRUE,removeZeros = TRUE)

Note that “capitata” and “capitata*” won’t lead to similar results because the species name is often associated to author’s name in the database i.e. Ceratitis capitata or Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann, 1824).
The results can be plotted:

plot(distr$lon,distr$lat, pch=3, cex=1, col="red", asp=1, xlab="longitude", ylab="latitude")
map("world", resolution = 0.5, add=T)

gbif occurrences for Ceratitis capitata

gbif occurrences for Ceratitis capitata

Alas! many occurrences correspond to the same geographical location i.e. there are many duplicated points which might be a source of trouble in subsequent data analyses and distribution modeling. This problem can be easily solved using the R package spatstat by Baddeley and Turner (2005) and its function duplicated.ppp.

We first have to create a spatial point pattern object from the occurrences points using the function ppp and a window created with the ripras function. Then duplicated.ppp will identify duplicated points and we will be able to remove them. The code is:

x<-distr$lon ; y<-distr$lat
w <- ripras(x,y)
x2<-x[which(dupv==FALSE)] ; y2<-y[which(dupv==FALSE)] # coordinates of points with no duplicates

In the case of Ceratitis capitata gbif returned a total of 1279 occurrences that included not less that 982 duplicated points.

A. Baddeley and R. Turner (2005). Spatstat: an R package for analyzing spatial point patterns. Journal of Statistical Software 12 (6), 1-42. ISSN: 1548-7660. URL: http://www.jstatsoft.org

Robert J. Hijmans, Steven Phillips, John Leathwick and Jane Elith (2012). dismo: Species distribution modeling. R package version 0.7-23. http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=dismo

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