Process & Systems Modelling

Modelling the invasion of alien species using distribution data

Invasive alien species are considered to be a major threat to native ecosystems and biodiversity worldwide. In collaboration with scientists in Singapore and New Zealand we have developed methods to parameterise stochastic dynamic models describing the spread of invasive alien species using distribution maps of the species of interest recorded at two or more points in time. Predictions of the future distribution of the alien species can then be easily obtained by simulation in a way that takes into account uncertainty in the model parameters, stochastic variability in the spread of the species and uncertainties inherent in the available data.

map of distribution Long-term future distribution predictions of the invasive species Rhododendron ponticum. The figure shows the probability of colonisation by 2030, based on 10,000 model simulations and using distribution maps recorded at years 1970 and 2000 for model parameterisation.

Further details from: Stephen Catterall

Article date 2011

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