Authors: Subhashni Taylor, Lalit Kumar & Nick Reid
Abstract: This research examines the impacts of climate change on the potential future distribution of Lantana camara L., a highly invasive species, in continental Australia. A process-based niche model of lantana is developed, using CLIMEX software, to estimate its potential distribution. The likely impact of climate change is explored using climate data from two Global Climate Models (GCMs), Echam Mark 3 (ECHAM3) and Hadley Mark 2 (HadCM2). The models are run with high as well as low emission scenarios projected 20 years (2030s) and 50 years (2070s) into the future. Both GCMs show a southward shift in distribution based on the climate data. Suitable areas for L. camara are identified well into the 2070s. Some of these areas coincide with bioregions containing endangered ecological communities which need to be prioritized for management actions. HadCM2 shows a more restricted lantana distribution with most of the continent becoming unsuitable by the 2070s except for some areas of suitability along the eastern coast. ECHAM3 identifies larger parts of the continent, particularly in south-west Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and large parts of the eastern coast as remaining suitable for lantana invasion into the 2070s.
Keywords: Climate Change, CLIMEX, Invasive Species, Niche Model