Species distribution modelling of selected invasive alien plant species in Namibia and Germany
Ruben Ulbrich, Kwembeya E., Joubert D., De Cauwer V.
University of Namibia
Currently invasive alien plants in Namibia and Germany are regarded as of moderate importance. But without proper monitoring and awareness the situation could change quickly and dramatically. One option to estimate possible distributions of species is by using species distribution modelling. My master’s thesis will deal with the possible and potential distribution of four invasive alien plant taxa (Prosopis spp & Leucaena leucocephala in Namibia; Prunus serotina & Robinia pseudoacacia in Germany) as calculated using the programme Maxent. A comparison between the ranges from native occurrence data (North-America) and actual occurrence points in the receiver country in relation to the environmental setting will be done. The occurrence points were extracted from international databases (e.g. GBIF) and national herbaria (e.g. WIND). Different environmental variables were used: as examples for soil – dominant soils, organic material; for temperature – annual mean/maximum of warmest month /minimum of coldest month; for precipitation – annual mean/wettest and driest month and quarter. Projections of possible distribution in the recipient range will be calculated using three different data-sets: 1) occurrence data only from the donor region; 2) occurrence data only from the receiver country; and 3) occurrence data of the four species from both the donor and receiver country. The knowledge of possible and potential distribution of Invasive Alien Plants could be used to prioritise the management of areas of high conservation value like national parks or conservancy areas.