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Feng X, Gebresenbet F, Walker C.2017. Shifting from closed-source graphical-interface to open-source programming environment: a brief tutorial on running Maxent in R. PeerJ Preprints5:e3346v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.3346v1
Ecological niche modeling (ENM) is increasingly being used in studying the relationship between species distributions and environmental conditions. The development of ENM software/algorithms is heading toward open-source programming, for the advantage of efficiency in handling big data and incorporating new methods. Maxent is one of the commonly used ENM algorithms, but there has been limited information and efforts in implementing Maxent in an open-source programming environment (e.g., R). Therefore, we aim to fill the gap of knowledge for using Maxent in R. More specifically, we demonstrate the general implementation of Maxent in R based on a commonly used ENM procedure, provide a function that bridges the Maxent algorithm and R computing environment for easier use, and demonstrate the manipulation of a few crucial Maxent parameters in R. We expect our efforts will promote a shift of the Maxent user community from a graphical-interface to open-source programming.