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Modelling species distributions without using species distributions: the cane toad in Australia under current and future climates

Kearney, Michael, Phillips, Ben L., Tracy, Christopher R., Christian, Keith A., Betts, Gregory and Porter, Warren P. (2008). Modelling species distributions without using species distributions: the cane toad in Australia under current and future climates. Ecography: pattern and diversity in ecology,31(4):423-434.

Document type: Journal Article

IRMA ID 81420356xPUB4
Title Modelling species distributions without using species distributions: the cane toad in Australia under current and future climates
Author Kearney, Michael
Phillips, Ben L.
Tracy, Christopher R.
Christian, Keith A.
Betts, Gregory
Porter, Warren P.
Journal Name Ecography: pattern and diversity in ecology
Publication Date 2008
Volume Number 31
Issue Number 4
ISSN 0906-7590   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-49749102754
Start Page 423
End Page 434
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication Frederiksberg, Denmark
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Munksgaard
Field of Research 0501 - Ecological Applications
0502 - Environmental Science and Management
0602 - Ecology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Accurate predictions of the potential distribution of range-shifting species are required for effective management of invasive species, and for assessments of the impact of climate change on native species. Range-shifting species pose a challenge for traditional correlative approaches to range prediction, often requiring the extrapolation of complex statistical associations into novel environmental space. Here we take an alternative approach that does not use species occurrence data, but instead captures the fundamental niche of a species by mechanistically linking key organismal traits with spatial data using biophysical models. We demonstrate this approach with a major invasive species, the cane toad Bufo marinus in Australia, assessing the direct climatic constraints on its ability to move, survive, and reproduce. We show that the current range can be explained by thermal constraints on the locomotor potential of the adult stage together with limitations on the availability of water for the larval stage. Our analysis provides a framework for biologically grounded predictions of the potential for cane toads to expand their range under current and future climate scenarios. More generally, by quantifying spatial variation in physiological constraints on an organism, trait-based approaches can be used to investigate the range-limits of any species. Assessments of spatial variation in the physiological constraints on an organism may also provide a mechanistic basis for forecasting the rate of range expansion and for understanding a species' potential to evolve at range-edges. Mechanistic approaches thus have broad application to process-based ecological and evolutionary models of range-shift.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0906-7590.2008.05457.x   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Fri, 08 May 2009, 10:18:19 CST by Sarena Wegener