Predicting the Potential Geographic Distributions of Non-Native Fishes in Florida with Climate Change

Authors: Joseph A. Andreoli*, University of Florida, Jesse R. Blanchard , Florida International University , Jennifer S. Rehage, Florida International University , Jeffrey E. Hill , University of Florida
Topics: Biogeography, Applied Geography, Anthropocene
Keywords: Species Distribution Modeling, Invasive Species, Climate Change, Maxent
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Astor Ballroom I, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Non-native species and climate change are two of the most pressing issues facing Florida in the Anthropocene. Due to Florida’s extensive hydrological alteration, subtropical climate, and large population size, the state is a hotspot for non-native fish establishment. This study is focused on the potential geographic distributions of a dozen species of non-native fish, several of which are invasive. The research questions of this study are: where is the current distribution of suitable habitat for these species in Florida? Where will suitable habitat be distributed in the future? What factors are driving these changes? This study uses maximum entropy modeling (Maxent), in a species distribution modeling (SDM) framework. These relationships are then projected to two different representative concentration pathways (RCPs), further into the Anthropocene- the years 2050 and 2070. Overall, suitable habitat is predicted to expand for most species, particularly those with warmer native ranges. For most species, canals continue to be suitable habitat, allowing for the seasonal colonization of surrounding wetlands from these deepwater refugia to continue in 2050 and 2070. For a minority of species, these novel features on the landscape become the only suitable habitat, presenting an opportunity for management. The strongest parameter in driving the distribution of suitable habitat was minimum temperature of the coldest month. For regions supporting rich fish diversity and endemism like the Southeastern United States, managers may use this SDM framework in prioritizing effort and limited resources in controlling those non-native species causing the most negative impacts.

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