Disturbance is an important predictor of the distribution of Lantana camara and Chromolaena odorata in Africa


Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
Pub Email: contact@vegetosindia.org
Doi: 10.1007/s42535-020-00179-6
First Page: 42
Last Page: 49
Views: 1732

Keywords: Climatic variables, Environmental niche, Invasion range, MAXENT


Most studies of invasion have used climatic variables without considering the importance of disturbance on the distribution of the species. In this study, MAXENT was used to model how disturbance, in addition to climatic factors, can affect the invasion of two of the most problematic plant invaders in Africa: Lantana camara and Chromolaena odorata. The estimates of global human footprint, and land cover, in addition to climatic factors, were used to understand their influences on the spread of these invaders in Africa. The models for L. camara and C. odorata had the area under curve (AUC) values of 0.93 and 0.96, respectively. Similar factors explained the distribution of both L. camara and C. odorata. Global human footprint (with 28.3% and 48.3% contributions to L. camara and C. odorata models), was one of the most critical factors affecting their spread. Lantana camara has a more potential widespread in seven countries than C. odorata, which was predicted to spread in four countries. This analysis suggests that understanding the ecological requirements of plant invaders, and their potential ranges are helpful when making important decisions for their control. The results revealed that the parts of the invaders’ range that would be susceptible to future invasion are those that are subject to disturbance.

Climatic variables, Environmental niche, Invasion range, MAXENT

*Get Access

(*Only SPR Members can get full access. Click Here to Apply and get access)



  1. Adebayo R, Uyi U (2010) Biological control of invasive weed species: Nigerian experience. Int J Agri Res 5(12):1100–1106

  2. Alston KP, Richardson DM (2006) The roles of habitat features, disturbance, and distance from putative source populations in structuring alien plant invasions at the urban/wildland interface on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. Biol Conser 132(2):183–198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2006.03.023

  3. Araújo MB, Luoto M (2007) The importance of biotic interactions for modelling species distributions under climate change. Global Ecol Biogeogr 16(6):743–753

  4. Baars J, Neser S (1999) Past and present initiatives on the biological control of Lantana camara (Verbenaceae) in South Africa. Afri Entom Mem 1:21–33

  5. Beauséjour R, Handa IT, Lechowicz MJ, Gilbert B, Vellend M (2015) Historical anthropogenic disturbances influence patterns of non-native earthworm and plant invasions in a temperate primary forest. Biol Invas 17(4):267–1281

  6. Bhagwat SA, Breman E, Thekaekara T, Thornton TF, Willis KJ (2012) A battle lost? Report on two centuries of invasion and management of Lantana camara L. in Australia India and South Africa. PLoS ONE 7(3):e32407

  7. Castel DJ (2012) Spatial analysis of the distribution and abundance patterns of Chromolaena odorata in Ghana: an invasion risk assessment. Inter J Bot 8(3):27–135

  8. Daehler CC (2006) Invasibility of tropical islands by introduced plants: partitioning the influence of isolation and propagule pressure. Preslia 78(4):389–404

  9. Dzomeku I, Abudulai M, Brandenburg R, Jordan D (2009) Survey of weeds and management practices in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L) in the savanna ecology of Ghana. Peanut Sci 36(2):165–173

  10. Elith J, Phillips SJ, Hastie T, Dudík M, Chee YE, Yates CJ (2011) A statistical explanation of MaxEnt for ecologists. Divers Distrib 17(1):43–57

  11. Fandohan AB, Oduor AMO, Sodé AI, Wu L, Cuni-sanchez A, Assédé E, Gouwakinnou GN (2015) Modeling vulnerability of protected areas to invasion by chromolaena odorata under current and future climates. Ecosyst Health Sust 1(6):1–12

  12. GBIF.org (2018) GBIF occurrence Download https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.15468/dl.0rwsbb

  13. Gentle C, Duggin J (1997a) Allelopathy as a competitive strategy in persistent thickets of Lantana camara L. in three Australian forest communities. Plant Ecol 132(1):85–95

  14. Gentle CB, Duggin JA (1997b) Lantana camara L invasions in dry rainforest—open forest ecotones: the role of disturbances associated with fire and cattle grazing. Aust J Ecol 22(3):298–306

  15. Ghisalberti E (2000) Lantana camara L. (verbenaceae). Fitoterapia 71(5):467–486

  16. Goncalves E, Herrera I, Duarte M, Bustamante RO, Lampo M, Velasquez G, García-Rangel S (2014) Global invasion of Lantana camara: has the climatic niche been conserved across continents? PLoS ONE 9(10):e111468

  17. Goodall JM, Erasmus DJ (1996) Review of the status and integrated control of the invasive alien weed, Chromolaena odorata, in South Africa. Agric Ecosyst Environ 56(3):151–164

  18. Goodall JM, Zacharias PJ (2002) Managing Chromolaena odorata in subtropical grasslands in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 5th international workshop on biological control and management of Chromolaena odorata. ARC-PPRI, Pretoria, South Africa

  19. Gooden B, French K, Turner PJ (2009) Invasion and management of a woody plant, Lantana camara L, alters vegetation diversity within wet sclerophyll forest in southeastern Australia. For Ecol Manag 257(3):960–967


  21. Hansen M, DeFries R, Townshend JR, Sohlberg R (1981) UMD global land cover classification, 1 kilometer, 1.0. Department of Geography, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 1994, 1998.

  22. Hansen MC, DeFries RS, Townshend JR, Sohlberg R (2000) Global land cover classification at 1 km spatial resolution using a classification tree approach. Int J Rem Sens 21(6–7):1331–1364

  23. Hijmans RJ, Cameron SE, Parra JL, Jones PG, Jarvis A (2005) Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas. Int J Clim 25(15):1965–1978

  24. Hijmans RJ, Phillips S, Leathwick J, Elith J, Hijmans MRJ (2017) Package ‘dismo’. Circles 9(1)

  25. Hobbs RJ, Huenneke LF (1992) Disturbance, diversity, and invasion: implications for conservation. Conserv Biol 6(3):324–337

  26. Huston MA (2004) Management strategies for plant invasions: manipulating productivity, disturbance, and competition. Divers Distrib 10(3):167–178

  27. Isichei AO, Akin-Fajiye MA (2013) Plant invasions in Nigeria. Nigerian forests: protection and sustainable development, 320

  28. Kellerman TS, Naude TW, Fourie N (1996) The distribution, diagnoses and estimated economic impact of plant poisonings and mycotoxicoses in South Africa. Onderstepoort J Veter Res 63(2):65–90

  29. Kohli RK, Batish DR, Singh H, Dogra KS (2006) Status, invasiveness and environmental threats of three tropical American invasive weeds (Parthenium hysterophorus L, Ageratum conyzoides L, Lantana camara L) in India. Biol Invas 8(7):1501–1510

  30. Kriticos D, Yonow T, McFadyen R (2005) The potential distribution of Chromolaena odorata (Siam weed) in relation to climate. Weed Res 45(4):246–254

  31. Lake JC, Leishman MR (2004) Invasion success of exotic plants in natural ecosystems: the role of disturbance, plant attributes and freedom from herbivores. Biol Conser 117(2):215–226

  32. Larson DL, Anderson PJ, Newton W (2001) Alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie: effects of vegetation type and anthropogenic disturbance. Ecol Appl 11(1):128–141

  33. Levine JM, Vila M, Antonio CM, Dukes JS, Grigulis K, Lavorel S (2003) Mechanisms underlying the impacts of exotic plant invasions. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 270(1517):775–781

  34. Lowe S, Browne M, Boudjelas S, De Poorter M (2000) 100 of the world's worst invasive alien species: a selection from the global invasive species database (vol. 12): Invasive Species Specialist Group Auckland

  35. McFadyen RC, Skarratt B (1996) Potential distribution of Chromolaena odorata (siam weed) in Australia, Africa and Oceania. Agric Ecosyst Environ 59(1):89–96

  36. Merow C, Smith MJ, Silander JA (2013) A practical guide to MaxEnt for modeling species’ distributions: what it does, and why inputs and settings matter. Ecography 36(10):1058–1069

  37. Moles AT, Gruber MAM, Bonser SP (2008) A new framework for predicting invasive plant species. J Ecol 96(1):13–17

  38. Muniappan R, Marutani M (1988) Ecology and distribution of Chromolaena odorata in Asia and the Pacific. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Biological Control of Chromolaena odorata, Ag. Exp. Sta., University of Guam, Mangilao, USA, Bangkok, Thailand

  39. Obiri JF (2011) Invasive plant species and their disaster-effects in dry tropical forests and rangelands of Kenya and Tanzania Jàmbá. J Disas Risk Stud 3(2):417–428

  40. Petitpierre B, McDougall K, Seipel T, Broennimann O, Guisan A, Kueffer C (2016) Will climate change increase the risk of plant invasions into mountains? Ecol Appl 26(2):530–544

  41. Phillips SJ, Dud M, Schapire RE (2004) A maximum entropy approach to species distribution modeling. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the twenty-first international conference on Machine learning, Banff, Alberta, Canada

  42. Phillips SJ, Dudík M (2008) Modeling of species distributions with Maxent: new extensions and a comprehensive evaluation. Ecography 31(2):161–175

  43. Phillips SJ, Dudik M, Schapire RE (2016) [Internet] Maxent software for modeling species niches and distributions (Version 3.4.1). Retrieved from http://biodiversityinformatics.amnh.org/open_source/maxent/

  44. Putz FE (1983) Treefall pits and mounds, buried seeds, and the importance of soil disturbance to pioneer trees on Barro Colorado Island Panama. Ecology 64(5):1069–1074

  45. Raimundo RLG, Fonseca RL, Schachetti-Pereira R, Peterson AT, Lewinsohn TM (2007) Native and exotic distributions of siamweed (Chromolaena odorata) modeled using the genetic algorithm for rule-set production. Weed Sci 55(1):41–48

  46. Roura-Pascual N, Richardson DM, Krug RM, Brown A, Chapman RA, Forsyth GG, Van Wilgen BW (2009) Ecology and management of alien plant invasions in South African fynbos: accommodating key complexities in objective decision making. Biol Conserv 142(8):1595–1604

  47. Seebens H, Essl F, Dawson W, Fuentes N, Moser D, Pergl J, Winter M (2015) Global trade will accelerate plant invasions in emerging economies under climate change. Global Change Biol 21(11):4128–4140

  48. Sexton JO, Song XP, Feng M, Noojipady P, Anand A, Huang C, Kim DH, Collins KM, Channan S, DiMiceli C, Townshend JR (2013) Global, 30-m resolution continuous fields of tree cover: Landsat-based rescaling of MODIS vegetation continuous fields with lidar-based estimates of error. Int J Dig Earth 6(5):427–448

  49. Shackleton RT, Witt AB, Aool W, Pratt CF (2017) Distribution of the invasive alien weed, Lantana camara, and its ecological and livelihood impacts in eastern Africa. Afri J Range For Sci 34(1):1–11

  50. Taylor S, Kumar L, Reid N, Kriticos DJ (2012) Climate change and the potential distribution of an invasive shrub Lantana camara L. PLoS ONE 7(4):e35565

  51. te Beest M, Elschot K, Olff H, Etienne RS (2013) Invasion success in a marginal habitat: an experimental test of competitive ability and drought tolerance in Chromolaena odorata. PLoS ONE 8(8):e68274

  52. Team R C (2013) R: a language and environment for statistical computing

  53. Tefera S, Dlamini B, Dlamini A (2008) Invasion of Chromolaena odorata in the lowveld region of Swaziland and its effect on herbaceous layer productivity. Int J Agri Res 3(2):98–109

  54. Theoharides KA, Dukes JS (2007) Plant invasion across space and time: factors affecting nonindigenous species success during four stages of invasion. New Phytol 176(2):256–273

  55. Václavík T, Meentemeyer RK (2012) Equilibrium or not? Modelling potential distribution of invasive species in different stages of invasion. Divers Distrib 18(1):73–83

  56. van Wilgen B, Richardson D, Le Maitre D, Marais C, Magadlela D (2001) The economic consequences of alien plant invasions: examples of impacts and approaches to sustainable management in South Africa. Environ Dev Sust 3(2):145–168

  57. Vardien W, Richardson DM, Foxcroft LC, Thompson GD, Wilson JRU, Le Roux JJ (2012) Invasion dynamics of Lantana camara L. (sensu lato) in South Africa. South Afr J Bot 81:81–94

  58. Wildlife Conservation Society—WCS, & Center for International Earth Science Information Network—CIESIN—Columbia University. (2005) Last of the Wild Project, Version 2, 2005 (LWP-2): Global Human Footprint Dataset (Geographic). Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.7927/H4M61H5F

  59. Witt AB, Kiambi S, Beale T, Van Wilgen BW (2017) A preliminary assessment of the extent and potential impacts of alien plant invasions in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem East Africa. Koedoe 59(1):1–16

  60. Yu F, Akin-Fajiye M, Thapa Magar K, Ren J, Gurevitch J (2016) A global systematic review of ecological field studies on two major invasive plant species, Ageratina adenophora and Chromolaena odorata. Divers Distrib 22(11):1174–1185

  61. Zachariades C, Day M, Muniappan R, Reddy G (2009) Chromolaena odorata (L) King and Robinson (Asteraceae). Biological control of tropical weeds using arthropods. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 130–162

  62. Zachariades C, Strathie LW, Retief E, Dube N (2011) Progress towards the biological control of Chromolaena odorata (L) R.M. King & H. Rob (Asteraceae) in South Africa. Afr Entomol 19(2):282–302



Author Information

Akin-Fajiye M.
Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, Canada

Akomolafe G. F.
Department of Botany, Federal University of Lafia, Lafia, Nigeria