Near term climate projections for invasive species distributions
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Climate change and invasive species pose important conservation issues separately, and should be examined together. We used existing long term climate datasets for the US to project potential climate change into the future at a finer spatial and temporal resolution than the climate change scenarios generally available. These fine scale projections, along with new species distribution modeling techniques to forecast the potential extent of invasive species, can provide useful information to aide conservation and invasive species management efforts. We created habitat suitability maps for Pueraria montana (kudzu) under current climatic conditions and potential average conditions up to 30 years in the future. We examined how the potential distribution of this species will be affected by changing climate, and the management implications associated with these changes. Our models indicated that P. montana may increase its distribution particularly in the Northeast with climate change and may decrease in other areas.
KeywordsInvasive species Climate change GARP Modeling Species distributions Climate variation
This work was partially supported by funding the United States Geological Survey through their research opportunities in global change science program. We would like to thank two reviewers for their comments. We would also like to thank the data contributors to the sites where we obtained field data for their willingness to share. To all we are grateful.
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