JDJCSET | Sigma Xi Poster Competition

Title

Predicting Potential Ranges of Invasive Species Using Principal Component Analysis of Climate Variables

Presenter Information

Matthew WittmanFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Geology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Haluk Cetin, PhD

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Predicting Potential Ranges of Invasive Species Using GIS Analysis of Climate Variables

Matthew Wittman, Dr. Haluk Cetin

Murray State University, Department of Geosciences

Keywords: Cane Toads, Invasive Species, Global Climate, Geographic Information Systems, Ecology

Invasive species are a serious ecological problem in the world today. Abundant intercontinental travel opens the possibility of species expanding their range far beyond what would otherwise be possible. Given this, it would be useful to be able predict areas where a given species might thrive if introduced, so that plans/protocols could be put into place in case an introduction occurred. For this study, a Geographic Information Systems approach is used to create a model to aid in predicting sites vulnerable to colonization by invasive species, focusing on a known invasive species (Cane Toad, Rhinella marina) as an exemplar. A global dataset of various climatic variables was obtained. Useful variables were selected from this dataset, and cross-referenced with the Cane Toad's native range. Land areas with climatic variable values within the range of values of the Cane Toad's native habitat were considered as suitable for Cane Toad colonization. The analysis was moderately successful at predicting areas where the Cane Toad is already known to be an established invasive, suggesting that this holds some promise in helping to predict areas at risk from invasion by certain species.

Spring Scholars Week 2018 Event

Sigma Xi Poster Competition

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Predicting Potential Ranges of Invasive Species Using Principal Component Analysis of Climate Variables

Predicting Potential Ranges of Invasive Species Using GIS Analysis of Climate Variables

Matthew Wittman, Dr. Haluk Cetin

Murray State University, Department of Geosciences

Keywords: Cane Toads, Invasive Species, Global Climate, Geographic Information Systems, Ecology

Invasive species are a serious ecological problem in the world today. Abundant intercontinental travel opens the possibility of species expanding their range far beyond what would otherwise be possible. Given this, it would be useful to be able predict areas where a given species might thrive if introduced, so that plans/protocols could be put into place in case an introduction occurred. For this study, a Geographic Information Systems approach is used to create a model to aid in predicting sites vulnerable to colonization by invasive species, focusing on a known invasive species (Cane Toad, Rhinella marina) as an exemplar. A global dataset of various climatic variables was obtained. Useful variables were selected from this dataset, and cross-referenced with the Cane Toad's native range. Land areas with climatic variable values within the range of values of the Cane Toad's native habitat were considered as suitable for Cane Toad colonization. The analysis was moderately successful at predicting areas where the Cane Toad is already known to be an established invasive, suggesting that this holds some promise in helping to predict areas at risk from invasion by certain species.