Research Center on Biodiversity and Computing BioComp

São Paulo, Brazil

Research Center on Biodiversity and Computing BioComp

São Paulo, Brazil
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Acosta A.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Acosta A.L.,Research Center on Biodiversity and Computing BioComp | Giannini T.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Giannini T.C.,Sustainable Development Technology | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

The ecological impacts of alien species invasion are a major threat to global biodiversity. The increasing number of invasion events by alien species and the high cost and difficulty of eradicating invasive species once established require the development of new methods and tools for predicting the most susceptible areas to invasion. Invasive pollinators pose serious threats to biodiversity and human activity due to their close relationship with many plants (including crop species) and high potential competitiveness for resources with native pollinators. Although at an early stage of expansion, the bumblebee species Bombus terrestris is becoming a representative case of pollinator invasion at a global scale, particularly given its high velocity of invasive spread and the increasing number of reports of its impacts on native bees and crops in many countries. We present here a methodological framework of habitat suitability modeling that integrates new approaches for detecting habitats that are susceptible to Bombus terrestris invasion at a global scale. Our approach did not include reported invaded locations in the modeling procedure; instead, those locations were used exclusively to evaluate the accuracy of the models in predicting suitability over regions already invaded. Moreover, a new and more intuitive approach was developed to select the models and evaluate different algorithms based on their performance and predictive convergence. Finally, we present a comprehensive global map of susceptibility to Bombus terrestris invasion that highlights priority areas for monitoring. © 2016 Acosta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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