"Species distribution models (SDMs) are numerical tools that combine observations of species occurrence or abundance with environmental estimates. They are used to gain ecological and evolutionary insights and to predict distributions across landscapes, sometimes requiring extrapolation in space and time." – Elith & Leathwick 2009
Elith, J. and Leathwick, J.R., 2009. Species distribution models: ecological explanation and prediction across space and time. Annual review of ecology, evolution, and systematics, 40, pp.677-697.