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Invasive Plant Species Establishment and Range Dynamics in Sri Lanka under Climate Change

1
Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
2
Climate Change Secretariat, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Battaramulla 10120, Sri Lanka
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Entropy 2019, 21(6), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21060571
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entropy Applications in Environmental and Water Engineering II)
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Abstract

Plant invasion has been widely recognized as an agent of global change that has the potential to have severe impacts under climate change. The challenges posed by invasive alien plant species (IAPS) on biodiversity and ecosystem stability is growing and not adequately studied, especially in developing countries. Defining climate suitability for multiple invasive plants establishment is important for early and strategic interventions to control and manage plant invasions. We modeled priority IAPS in Sri Lanka to identify the areas of greatest climatic suitability for their establishment and observed how these areas could be altered under projected climate change. We used Maximum Entropy method to model 14 nationally significant IAPS under representative concentration pathways 4.5 and 8.5 for 2050 and 2070. The combined climate suitability map produced by summing up climatic suitability of 14 IAPS was further classified into five classes in ArcMap as very high, high, moderate, low, and very low. South and west parts of Sri Lanka are projected to have potentially higher climatic suitability for a larger number of IAPS. We observed suitable area changes (gains and losses) in all five classes of which two were significant enough to make an overall negative impact i.e., (i) contraction of the very low class and (ii) expansion of the moderate class. Both these changes trigger the potential risk from IAPS in Sri Lanka in the future.
Keywords: biological invasions; climate suitability; conservation planning; MaxEnt; niche modeling; risk assessment biological invasions; climate suitability; conservation planning; MaxEnt; niche modeling; risk assessment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kariyawasam, C.S.; Kumar, L.; Ratnayake, S.S. Invasive Plant Species Establishment and Range Dynamics in Sri Lanka under Climate Change. Entropy 2019, 21, 571.

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