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Biology of Dryland Plants

Golubov, Jordan [1].

Invasive plants in arid lands.

There is a rising concern as to the impacts of invasive species worldwide. Traditionally, arid and semi-arid environments were thought to be resistant to invasions by exotics, however, this view has recently been changing. One of the main problems associated to invasive species is the difficulty of predicting the possible impact they can have. One of the main issues of the impact an invasive species can have is largely dependent on what ecological conditions are ideal for the establishment of exotics. To address the question of potential distribution of species, ecological niche modelling can be an important tool for predicting the distribution of invasives. These models use two types of input data: a geographical location that can be obtained from museums, herbaria, etc, and a series of ecological data (rainfall, soil types, temperature, etc) in order to find non random association between environmental variables and species distribution. In this case I used a genetic algorithm that has been previously used to predict species distributions (GARP), data from herbarium and museum specimens and environmental variables to predict the distribution of invasive species (native and exotic) and predict areas that can be susceptible to invasion for arid and semi-arid environments of North America. These models can be used to predict the potential distribution of species that have not been introduced into certain areas (e.g. Cactoblastis cactorum) and species that are currently expanding their distribution (e.g. Pennisetum ciliare). In conclusion the use of these models can have enormous potential to predict invasive species in arid and semi-arid environments if and when adequate data is available.

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1 - Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, El Hombre y Su Ambiente, Calz. del Hueso 1100, Col. Villa Quietud, Del. Coyoacan, Mexico D. F., DF, 04960, Mexico

Invasive Species
arid environments
ecological niche modelling.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 49-16
Location: Salon K - Austin Grand Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Wednesday, August 17th, 2005
Time: 3:45 PM
Abstract ID:140

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