Predicting the potential distribution area of Solidago xniederederi (Asteraceae)


Abstract: In this study, we aimed to investigate the potential distribution area of Solidago xniederederi, a natural hybrid between North American S. canadensis and European S. virgaurea, in Central and East Europe using the MAXENT modeling approach. The final MAXENT model was constructed based on 83 occurrence records from Austria, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia and six abiotic environmental variables. The jackknife test revealed that annual temperature range, mean temperature of wettest quarter, and minimum temperature of coldest month had the highest gain for the training and test data when used alone, whereas precipitation seasonality, precipitation of coldest quarter, and precipitation of warmest quarter reduced the gain the most when excluded from the model and thus contributed the most information not presented with the other variables. A high probability of occurrence (>0.6) for S. xniederederi was found in 12 countries, namely Austria, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast), Slovenia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. Our results showed in which areas the hybrid may be established under the European temperate climatic conditions; however, we do not indicate which areas exactly may be under invasion by the hybrid because such a statement needs population dynamic data for proper investigation. To prevent the negative impact of S. xniederederi on native S. virgaurea (i.e. competition for pollinators and introgression) we suggest that it should be controlled first in areas of high probability of occurrence, especially in Lithuania, Kaliningrad Oblast, Slovakia, Poland, and Austria, where the areas of high probability of hybrid occurrence account for more than 5% of the territory concerned.

Keywords: Alien species, plant hybridization, species distribution modeling, MAXENT

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