I am doing a study on how a changing climate is influencing the spread of an invasive species of moth.

I have climate data in the netCDF format which I have made into both rasters and point representation in ArcMap 10.3. I also have trap data on the invasive species, where the field that is of interest to me is the number of individuals in said trap.

I am wondering if there is a way that I can compare my climate data to these point shapefiles, specifically that field and get a statistically sound answer rather than just visual interpolation.

Is there a tool in ArcMap that I am missing, or can anyone recommend a third party FREE statistical software to run this analysis?

  • Which Spatial Statistics tools have you considered and discounted, and why?
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 16, 2016 at 23:32

3 Answers 3


the free statistical language/software R is ideal for this (but if you dont know R then it'll take some learning i'm afraid).

  1. free download of R
  2. An introduction to species distribution modelling in R
  3. The Molecular Ecologist is full of ecological analysis in R
  4. the biomod2 package is widely used for ecological modelling
  5. i dont know what climate data you're using but if you're quite experienced with stats, you might want to consider Mixed Effect Models, here's a CRAN page with a lot of info
  6. Or perhaps you are thinking of Habitat Suitability Modeling? plenty of stuff going on there, here's a good site
  7. finally, this is some good background reading for frameworks when considering ecological vulnerability and climate change

this is an enormous area of research/analysis, it really is, all the best with getting what you need but i have to stress that R really does have a large community dedicated to ecological modelling


As I understand your question, you need to compare climatic data with point data of trapped invasive species.

  1. Use the "Extract Values to Points" tool (spatial analyst) to get the climatic data at the same points (shapefile) where you have trap-data.

  2. Export the shapefile to Excel (or open the dbf in Excel) and do a simple regression on the two columns (i. climate data and ii. trap data)


Try Geospatial Modeling Environment. It uses R and ArcGIS engine to conduct spatial analysis. The basis of GME was an ArcMap extension call Hawth's Tools. The designer built several tools for ecological studies, for example migration patterns. GME also requires a download of R. (Disclaimer: I'm definitely not skilled in dealing with command line/modular based software and I managed to make it work.) GME is found here.

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