Predicting potential areas for multiple invasive plant species establishment in Sri Lanka under climate change

Ms Champika Kariyawasam1, Prof Lalit Kumar1

1University Of New England, Armidale, Australia

The aim of the current study is to define the areas vulnerable to multiple invasive alien plant species (IAPS) invasion under current and future climate change. Maxent software was used to model the potential ranges of 14 invasive plants in Sri Lanka. Study was conducted under general circulation model MIROC5, RCPs 4.5 and 8.5 for 2050 and 2070. Threshold dependent AUC and threshold independent True skill statistic (TSS) measures were used to assess the model performance. Maximum training sensitivity plus specificity logistic threshold of MaxEnt was used to generate binary presence absence maps for individual 14 IAPS. The combined raster map generated was further grouped into five classes very low, low, moderate and very high depending on the level of vulnerability. The potential predicted areas of five classes were further analyzed to visualize the areas of contraction, expansion and static. Overall, the potential area of suitable climate of the evaluated species will change significantly by 2050 compared to the current climate. Seven IAPS will increase the respective ranges whereas the other seven IAPS will decrease the ranges in the future. It should be noted that under both RCPs, the area free from IAPS will be contracted significantly through 2050 until 2070. Overall, the invasion dynamics of this 14 IAPS stipulates that the area suitable for large number of IAPS will decrease while the areas relatively free from IAPS will increase in the future compared to current climate regime.


I am Champika Kariyawasam , from the Ministry of Environment Sri Lanka.I am currently doing a PhD attached to the University of New England Australia on potential distribution of invasive alien plants in Sri Lanka under climate change and impacts on biodiversity .

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