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A new high resolution climate dataset in the Basque Country: Application for ecological niche modelling and future climate impact estimates

Global bioclimatic datasets are widely used in ecological research to estimate the potential distribution of species. Although these datasets offer high resolution information, they have not been tested rigorously in smaller regions, hence, it might not be appropriate to use them for the development of species distribution models (SDMs) due to their poor representation of local climate features. Moreover, this problem may be aggravated when predicting potential distributions in the future as a consequence of the uncertainty derived from the future altered climate scenarios. Faced with this problem a high resolution grid for the Basque Country has been developed as an alternative to existing public products: The Regional Baseline Climate of the Basque Country (RCBC). In this study we have modelled tree species under different climate datasets and SDM techniques in the Basque Country (Northern Iberian Peninsula), in order to compare the RCBC with the WorldClim bioclimatic dataset (WC) in a region of complex orography.