Using consensus land cover data to model global invasive tree species distributions.
Invasive tree species threaten ecosystems, natural resources, and managed land worldwide. Land cover has been widely used as an environmental variable for predicting global invasive tree species distributions. Recent studies have shown that consensus land cover data can be an effective tool for species distribution modelling. In this paper, consensus land cover data were used as prediction variables to predict the distribution of the 11 most aggressive invasive tree species globally. We found that consensus land cover data could indeed contribute to modelling the distribution of invasive tree species. According to the contribution rate of land cover to the distribution of invasive tree species, we inferred that the cover classes of open water and evergreen broadleaf trees have strong explanatory power regarding the distribution of invasive tree species. Under consensus land cover changes, invasive tree species were mainly distributed near equatorial, tropical, and subtropical areas. In order to limit the damage caused by invasive tree species to global biodiversity, human life, safety, and the economy, strong measures must be implemented to prevent the further expansion of invasive tree species. We suggest the use of consensus land cover data to model global invasive tree species distributions, as this approach has strong potential to enhance the performance of species distribution modelling. Our study provides new insights into the risk assessment and management of invasive tree species globally.