Analysis of the adaptative strategy of Cirsium vulgare (savi) ten. in the colonization of new territories.
The current situation of global environmental degradation as a result of anthropogenic activities makes it necessary to open new research lines focused on the causes and effects of the main alterations caused in the ecosystems. One of the most relevant is how the niche dynamics of invasive species change between different geographical areas, since its understanding is key to the early detection and control of future invasions. In this regard, we analyzed the distribution pattern of Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten., a plant of the Asteraceae family originally from the Eurasian region that currently invades wide areas of the world. We estimated its niche shifts between continents using a combination of principal components analysis (PCA) and Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) on an extensive set of data on global presences of its native and invaded ranges from Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). A set of bioclimatic variables and the Human Footprint (HFP) with a resolution of 10 km were selected for this purpose. Our results showed that the species has a marked global trend to expand toward warmer climates with less seasonality, although in some regions its invasiveness appears to be less than in others. The models had a good statistical performance and high coherence in relation to the known distribution of the species and allowed us to establish the relative weight of the contribution of each variable used, with the annual temperature and seasonality being the determining factors in the establishment of the species. Likewise, the use of non-climatic variable HFP has provided relevant information to explain the colonizing behavior of the species. The combination of this methodology with an adequate selection of predictor variables represents a very useful tool when focusing efforts and resources for the management of invasive species.