Climatic niche shift of an invasive shrub (gorse, Ulex europaeus): a world scale comparison in native and introduced regions

Abstract : Aims. Invasive species, which recently expanded, may help understand how climatic niche can shift at the time scale of the current global change. Here, we address the climatic niche shift of an invasive shrub (common gorse, Ulex europaeus) at the world and regional scales to assess how it could contribute to increasing invasibility. Methods. Based on a 28,187 occurrences database, we used a combination of 9 species distribution models (SDM) to assess regional climatic niche from both the native range (Western Europe) and the introduced range in different parts of the world (North-West America, South America, North Europe, Australia and New Zealand). Important Findings. Despite being restricted to annual mean temperature between 4 and 22 °C, as well as annual precipitation higher than 300 mm yr-1 , the range of bioclimatic conditions suitable for gorse was very large. Based on a native vs introduced SDM comparison, we highlighted a niche expansion in NorthWest America, South America and to a lesser degree in Australia, while a niche displacement was assessed in North Europe. These niche changes induced an increase in potential occupied areas by gorse by 49, 111, 202 and 283% in Australia, North Europe, NorthWest America and South America, respectively. On the contrary, we found no evidence of niche change in New Zealand, which present similar climatic condition that the native environment (Western Europe). This study highlights how niche expansion and displacement of gorse might increase invasibility at regional scale. The change in gorse niche toward new climatic conditions may result from adaptive plasticity or genetic evolution and may explain why it has such a high level of invasibility. Taking into account the possibility of a niche shift is crucial to improve invasive plants management and control.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 3, 2019 - 4:08:12 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-02146154, version 1

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Mathias Christina, Fawziah Limbada, Anne Atlan. Climatic niche shift of an invasive shrub (gorse, Ulex europaeus): a world scale comparison in native and introduced regions. 2019. ⟨hal-02146154⟩

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