The drifting dinoflagellate Ceratium furcoides (Levander) Langhans 1925: fundamental niche shift during global invasion.
Ceratium furcoides is a freshwater dinoflagellate originally from cold waters of northern Europe that has been expanding its distribution into new areas worldwide. Species distribution modeling (SDM) based on maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt) showed that C. furcoides has a much wider potential range than its current distribution and isothermality as the key environmental variable determining its spatial pattern. The model successfully predicts areas of introduction and the climate matching approach has identified mainly tropical and some subtropical regions as most vulnerable areas at risk of introduction and establishment of C. furcoides. Furthermore, the observed shift of the climatic niche occurred between native and non-native ranges, providing, for the first time, a robust evidence that a dinoflagellate can occupy climatically distinct niche spaces following its introduction into new areas. This is probably mirroring the lack of adequate management to deal with various impacts on drainage basins, such as ongoing accelerated cultural eutrophication coupled with river impoundments and water diversion. Thus, this framework provides helpful insights on how to optimize our ability to anticipate invasions and to avoid ecosystem services losses, as well as future studies prospects on adaptive mechanisms of this pervasive invader.