The flora and fauna of the earth’s biosphere may be categorised in four ways: taxonomic, ecological, phylogenetic or biogeographic. Each of these categories are interrelated and each have their own set of tools for interpretation.
A preprint on this subject is available here (in progress, incomplete)
In order to compare species distribution maps with abiotic factors such as climate, altitude, soil, water regimes etc. other geospatial datasets are required. There are a variety of these available from various sources but one comprehensive dataset arose from an initiative in 2003 by Mücher et. al (Identification and characterisation of environment and landscapes in Europe.) Their work culminated in LANMAP, a European Landscape Classification (Mücher, Klijn, Wascher & Schaminée, 2010)
The LANMAP map of Pan-Europe on the home page is constructed from the dataset kindly provided by Caspar Mücher and depicts the first two tiers, climate and altitude. This provides some form of context against which to analyse species distribution, if only by eye (technical term is ESDA = exploratory spatial data analysis). More detailed geospatial coordinates are required for each species occurrence in order to carry out any kind of analysis. This is possible in the UK but such detail is hard to obtain elsewhere in Europe.
Biotic factors may be of value. For example several species are saproxylic, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre not only provide tree geospatial datasets but the factsheets at “Forest” outline their distribution across Europe.
Mücher, C. A., Klijn, J. A., Wascher, D. M., & Schaminée, J. H. J. (2010). A new European Landscape Classification (LANMAP): A transparent, flexible and user-oriented methodology to distinguish landscapes. Ecological Indicators, 10(1), 87–103.
Mücher, C. A., Bunce, R. G. ., Jongman, R. H. ., Klijn, J. A., Koomen, A. J. M., Metzger, M. J., & Wascher, D. M. (2003). Identification and characterisation of environment and landscapes in Europe. Wageningen.