Modeling the distribution of globally important invasive plant species:Is there significant niche shift and range expansion during invasion?Funded by Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology(SERB-DST)New Delhi,2017-2020
Invasive species represent one of the most serious threats to biodiversity with huge impact on the ecosystems, agriculture and creating huge economic losses. Biological invasions result from the deliberate or accidental introduction of species between regions they would not reach through natural dispersal and are responsible to cause major human health issues. Climate change can acceralate the spread of invasive species, from initial introduction through establishment and spread and consequently have a profound influence on the environment. Predicting biological invasions is an important measure for protecting biodiversity. Knowledge about the invasion range of the invasive species is crucial for understanding the ecology, conservation and management of invasive species. In this project, we seek to investigate the spread of most invasive plant species using species distribution models. Species distribution models would be used to predict the potential risk and extent of spread of these invasive species particularly in India. Using state-of-the-art species distribution models, the project seeks to identify future hotspots of invasion in India under different climate change scenarios for the world’s most invasive species, which could be used for management of invasive species.