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The use of advanced modelling methods in ecology expands as ecological data accumulates and increases in complexity. Artificial neural networks (ANN), and in particular, the self-organising map (SOM), has become very popular for analysing particular kinds of ecological datasets. As SOM have become more utilised, it has become increasingly clear that the results of SOM models must be interpreted carefully. SOM have been used in a number of ecological studies to investigate the spatial distribution of species. When using presence–absence data of species distributions at given locations, the input vectors to a SOM are binary and the connection weights after learning are between 0 and 1. Using fuzzy set theory, we...