Modelling the potential distribution of Eichhornia crassipes
Eichhornia crassipes (Pontederiaceae: EPPO A2 List) is one of the world’s most invasive aquatic plants. Native to South America, E. crassipes has been introduced to countries throughout the world where it can cause significant negative impacts including blocking water channels, degrading biological diversity and providing breeding grounds for mosquitoes. To model the potential distribution of E. crassipes, two climatic datasets were used (one historical dataset and one estimating future climatic conditions) coupled with global distribution data gathered within the framework of an EPPO Pest Risk Analysis on the species. Under current climate conditions, the output of the model showed that the potential geographical area suitable for the establishment of E. crassipes is broad, spanning much of South and Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia and tropical and sub-tropical Asia. Under future projected climate estimates, the potential distribution of E. crassipes in the northern hemisphere will expand of its range northwards and this is most apparent in North-Eastern China, North America and Europe, with Europe having the greatest potential for future expansion.
Kriticos DJ, Brunel S (2016) Assessing and managing the current and future risk from water hyacinth, (Eichhornia crassipes), an invasive aquatic plant threatening the environment and water security. PLOS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120054