Climate change will enhance biological invasion in NepalClimate change will amplify biological invasion in Nepal

The biological invasions have been increasing at multiple spatial scales and the management of invasive alien species is becoming more challenging due to confounding effects of climate change on the distribution of those species. Identification of climatically suitable areas for invasive alien species and their range under future climate change scenarios are essential for long-term management planning of these species. GIIS research fellows Uttam Babu Shrestha, Bharat Babu Shrestha, Resham Thapa-Parajuli and team modelled the distribution of six of the most problematic invasive alien plants (IAPs) of Nepal (Ageratum houstonianum Mill., Chromolaena odorata (L.) R.M. King & H. Rob., Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit., Lantana camara L., Mikania micrantha Kunth, and Parthenium hysterophorus L.) under the current and two future climate change scenarios (RCP 4.5 scenarios for 2050 and 2070) using an ensemble of species distribution modelling. They found that all six IAPs are likely to invade additional areas in the future due to climate change. The findings of this research can be used as a cautionary note for the management of IAPs in Nepal where IAPs have become a serious threat to biodiversity, economy and agriculture of the country.

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