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.
(*Only SPR Members can download pdf file; #Open Access;)