Climate change and the potential distribution of an invasive alien plant: Acacia nilotica ssp indica in Australia

Kriticos, D. J., Sutherst, R. W., Brown, J. R., Adkins, S. W. and Maywald, G. F. (2003) Climate change and the potential distribution of an invasive alien plant: Acacia nilotica ssp indica in Australia. Journal of Applied Ecology, 40 1: 111-124. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2664.2003.00777.x

Author Kriticos, D. J.
Sutherst, R. W.
Brown, J. R.
Adkins, S. W.
Maywald, G. F.
Title Climate change and the potential distribution of an invasive alien plant: Acacia nilotica ssp indica in Australia
Journal name Journal of Applied Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8901; 1365-2654; 1365-2664
Publication date 2003-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1046/j.1365-2664.2003.00777.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 40
Issue 1
Start page 111
End page 124
Total pages 14
Editor R. Freckleton
S. Rushton
S. Ormerod
P. Hulme
P. Giller
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject C1
300204 Plant Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
620500 Sustainable Plant Production Systems
Formatted abstract
1.  Acacia nilotica is a spinescent woody legume that has become highly invasive in several parts of the world, including Australia where it has been declared a weed of national significance. Understanding the likely potential distribution of this notorious plant under current and future climate scenarios will enable policy makers and land managers to prepare appropriate strategies to manage the invasion.

  CLIMEX was used to synthesize available information from diverse sources to model the invasion potential of A. nilotica and gain insights into the climatic factors limiting its range expansion. The model identified areas at risk of further invasion so that early preventative or ameliorative measures could be undertaken in a timely manner.

The potential distribution of A. nilotica in Australia under current climatic conditions is vast, and far greater than the current distribution.

  Global climate change is likely to increase markedly the potential distribution of A. nilotica in Australia, significantly increasing the area at risk of invasion. The factors of most importance are the expected increases in water-use efficiency of A. nilotica due to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations, allowing it to invade more xeric sites further inland, and increased temperatures, allowing it to complete its reproductive life cycle further southward (poleward).

5. Synthesis and applications. Simple paddock quarantine procedures may provide a means of limiting the range of A. nilotica within its potential distribution under current, as well as future, climate scenarios. The projected increased growth potential of A . nilotica throughout its current range suggests that if future management patterns result in seed pods lying unconsumed on the ground, heightened vigilance may be required to identify and eradicate new invasion foci arising from flood dispersal. The increased growth potential may also result in an alteration of the economic balance, in favour of harvesting A. nilotica for agroforestry or local bioenergy projects. A crucial component in containing this invasion will be raising public awareness of the invasion threat posed by A. nilotica, its identification and suitable control techniques.
Keyword Ecology
Biological Invasions
Global Change
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 14:05:00 EST