Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Invasive plants in Brazil: climate change effects and detection of suitable areas within conservation units.

Abstract

Invasive exotic plants may compromise the survival, growth, and reproduction of native species and are among the leading causes of worldwide biodiversity losses. Climate changes-which will affect species distribution-may even amplify the problems caused by invasive species. Here, we used ecological niche models to evaluate the current and future distribution of 108 invasive plants in the entire Brazilian territory and the country's conservation unit facilities (CUFs). Overall, our results did not indicate a significant change in the potential distribution of invasive plants between the current and future climate scenarios, although we expect that 67.5% of the species will decrease its range in Brazil in the future. The proportion of the plants' invasive range inside conservation units varied from 1 to 12%, and results suggest that this would not increase or decrease in the future. Taken together, our results do not indicate that climate change will amplify the effects of existing invasive plants-although it may facilitate the invasion of other species. Both current and future scenarios suggest high suitability for invasive plants in the southern, southern, southeastern, and eastern coast of Brazil, comprising the Caatinga, Cerrado, and Mata Atlântica Brazilian biomes, the most populated areas of the country. We advise that conservation unit managers and authorities within these regions should continuously monitor such invasive plants to take early responses to avoid their establishment.