Impacts of climate change and land-use on the potential distribution of an invasive weed: a case study of Lantana camara in Australia
Biological invasion, CLIMEX, global climate models, Invasive species, Modelling, niche model
Lantana camara (lantana) is an extremely invasive species in many countries, including Australia. Biosecurity agencies will benefit from prior knowledge of the potential distribution of L. camara, under current and future climate scenarios. A process-based niche model for this species was developed using the CLIMEX modelling package. The potential distribution generated from this model was refined by incorporating existing land-use data in a Geographical Information System (GIS). The potential distribution of L. camara under current climate indicated that L. camara occupies almost the full extent of climatically suitable habitat available to it in Australia. Under future climate scenarios, L. camara range expands into new areas in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, while the northern parts of the continent become climatically unsuitable. This trend continued with the inclusion of land-use data, although with a more restricted distri-bution, as locations with suitable climate but unsuitable land-use were excluded. Weed control authorities in the new areas at risk of invasion under climate change need to be alerted to this emerging threat, so that effective response measures can be taken.