Mapping the potential distribution of the invasive red shiner, Cyprinella lutrensis (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) across waterways of the conterminous United States.
Predicting the future spread of non-native aquatic species continues to be a high priority for natural resource managers striving to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem function. Modeling the potential distributions of alien aquatic species through spatially explicit mapping is an increasingly important tool for risk assessment and prediction. Habitat modeling also facilitates the identification of key environmental variables influencing species distributions. We modeled the potential distribution of an aggressive invasive minnow, the red shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis), in waterways of the conterminous United States using maximum entropy (Maxent). We used inventory records from the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, native records for C. lutrensis from museum collections, and a geographic information system of 20 raster climatic and environmental variables to produce a map of potential red shiner habitat. Summer climatic variables were the most important environmental predictors of C. lutrensis distribution, which was consistent with the high temperature tolerance of this species. Results from this study provide insights into the locations and environmental conditions in the US that are susceptible to red shiner invasion.