Biological Invasions

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 1209–1227 | Cite as

Where will conflicts between alien and rare species occur after climate and land-use change? A test with a novel combined modelling approach

  • Joana Vicente
  • Christophe F. Randin
  • João Gonçalves
  • Marc J. Metzger
  • Ângela Lomba
  • João Honrado
  • Antoine Guisan
Original Paper


Protecting native biodiversity against alien invasive species requires powerful methods to anticipate these invasions and to protect native species assumed to be at risk. Here, we describe how species distribution models (SDMs) can be used to identify areas predicted as both suitable for rare native species and highly susceptible to invasion by alien species, at present and under future climate and land-use scenarios. To assess the condition and dynamics of such conflicts, we developed a combined predictive modelling (CPM) approach, which predicts species distributions by combining two SDMs fitted using subsets of predictors classified as acting at either regional or local scales. We illustrate the CPM approach for an alien invader and a rare species associated with similar habitats in northwest Portugal. Combined models predict a wider variety of potential species responses, providing more informative projections of species distributions and future dynamics than traditional, non-combined models. They also provide more informative insight regarding current and future rare-invasive conflict areas. For our studied species, conflict areas of highest conservation relevance are predicted to decrease over the next decade, supporting previous reports that some invasive species may contract their geographic range and impact due to climate change. More generally, our results highlight the more informative character of the combined approach to address practical issues in conservation and management programs, especially those aimed at mitigating the impact of invasive plants, land-use and climate changes in sensitive regions.


Alien invaders Climate change Combined predictive modelling Land-use change Rare species Species distribution models 



This study was financially supported by FCT (Portuguese Science Foundation) through Ph.D grant SFRH/BD/40668/2007 to J. Vicente. A. Guisan received support from the Swiss NCCR (National Centres of Competence in Research) for “Plant survival in natural and agroecological landscapes” ( A. Lomba is supported by FCT through PhD grant SFRH/BD/31576/2006. We would like to thank to Roger Bivand (Economic Geography Section, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration) for his precious help in the adaptation of codes in R software. This paper is a contribution of the BIOLIEF conference: “World Conference on Biological Invasions and Ecosystem Functioning”. We would like to thank Dr. Daniel Simberloff, editor-in-chief of this special issue in Biological Invasions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joana Vicente
    • 1
  • Christophe F. Randin
    • 2
  • João Gonçalves
    • 1
  • Marc J. Metzger
    • 3
  • Ângela Lomba
    • 1
  • João Honrado
    • 1
  • Antoine Guisan
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de BiologiaCIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos and Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Institute of BotanyUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.CECS Centre for the study of Environmental Change and Sustainability, School of GeosciencesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  4. 4.Spatial Ecology Group, Department of Ecology and Evolution and Institute of Geology and PalaeontologyUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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