Biological invasions and climate pose two of the most important challenges facing global biodiversity. Certainly, climate change may intensify the impacts of invasion by allowing invasive plants to increase in abundance and further expand their ranges. For example, most aquatic alien plants in temperate climate are of tropical and subtropical origins and the northern limits of their ranges are generally determined by minimum winter temperatures, and they will probably expand their distributions northwards if climate warms. The distribution of five invasive aquatic plants in freshwater systems across continents were investigated. Their global distributions in the current climate were modeled using a recently developed ensemble species distribution model approach, specifically designed to account for dispersal constraints on the distributions of range-expanding species. It was found that the species appear capable of substantial range expansion, and that low winter temperature is the strongest factor limiting their invasion. These findings can be used to identify areas at risk of recently introduction of neophytes, and develop future monitoring programs for aquatic ecosystems, prioritizing control efforts, which enables the effective use of ecological niche models to forecast aquatic invasion in other geographic regions.
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