The grass may not always be greener: projected reductions in climatic suitability for exotic grasses under future climates in Australia

Rachael Gallagher, D. Duursma, Jessica O'Donnell, Peter Wilson, Paul Downey, Lesley Hughes, Michelle Leishman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    Climate change presents a new challenge for the management of invasive exotic species that threaten both biodiversity and agricultural productivity. The invasion of exotic perennial grasses throughout the globe is particularly problematic given their impacts on a broad range of native plant communities and livelihoods. As the climate continues to change, pre-emptive long-term management strategies for exotic grasses will become increasingly important. Using species distribution modelling we investigated potential changes to the location of climatically suitable habitat for some exotic perennial grass species currently in Australia, under a range of future climate scenarios for the decade centred around 2050. We focus on eleven species shortlisted or declared as the Weeds of National Significance or Alert List species in Australia, which have also become successful invaders in other parts of the world. Our results indicate that the extent of climatically suitable habitat available for all of the exotic grasses modelled is projected to decrease under climate scenarios for 2050. This reduction is most severe for the three species of Needle Grass (genus Nassella) that currently have infestations in the south-east of the continent. Combined with information on other aspects of establishment risk (e.g. demographic rates, human-use, propagule pressure), predictions of reduced climatic suitability provide justification for re-assessing which weeds are prioritised for intensive management as the climate changes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)961-975
    Number of pages15
    JournalBiological Invasions
    Volume15
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    grass
    grasses
    climate
    weed
    Nassella
    weeds
    climate change
    propagule
    habitat
    habitats
    livelihood
    plant community
    plant communities
    demographic statistics
    biogeography
    biodiversity
    productivity
    prediction
    modeling

    Cite this

    Gallagher, Rachael ; Duursma, D. ; O'Donnell, Jessica ; Wilson, Peter ; Downey, Paul ; Hughes, Lesley ; Leishman, Michelle. / The grass may not always be greener: projected reductions in climatic suitability for exotic grasses under future climates in Australia. In: Biological Invasions. 2013 ; Vol. 15. pp. 961-975.
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    abstract = "Climate change presents a new challenge for the management of invasive exotic species that threaten both biodiversity and agricultural productivity. The invasion of exotic perennial grasses throughout the globe is particularly problematic given their impacts on a broad range of native plant communities and livelihoods. As the climate continues to change, pre-emptive long-term management strategies for exotic grasses will become increasingly important. Using species distribution modelling we investigated potential changes to the location of climatically suitable habitat for some exotic perennial grass species currently in Australia, under a range of future climate scenarios for the decade centred around 2050. We focus on eleven species shortlisted or declared as the Weeds of National Significance or Alert List species in Australia, which have also become successful invaders in other parts of the world. Our results indicate that the extent of climatically suitable habitat available for all of the exotic grasses modelled is projected to decrease under climate scenarios for 2050. This reduction is most severe for the three species of Needle Grass (genus Nassella) that currently have infestations in the south-east of the continent. Combined with information on other aspects of establishment risk (e.g. demographic rates, human-use, propagule pressure), predictions of reduced climatic suitability provide justification for re-assessing which weeds are prioritised for intensive management as the climate changes.",
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    The grass may not always be greener: projected reductions in climatic suitability for exotic grasses under future climates in Australia. / Gallagher, Rachael; Duursma, D.; O'Donnell, Jessica; Wilson, Peter; Downey, Paul; Hughes, Lesley; Leishman, Michelle.

    In: Biological Invasions, Vol. 15, 2013, p. 961-975.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Downey, Paul

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    AU - Leishman, Michelle

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