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Do Invasive Forest Pest Ranges Shift from their Native Environments?

Estimate suitability map for Asian gypsy moth, Sudden oak death, Asian longhorned beetle, and Dutch elm disease across the planet

Invasive species experience biotic and abiotic conditions that may not resemble their native environments. Scientists compared native and invasive niches of four forest pests to help predict a species’ potential range expansion and invasion potential and help guide monitoring efforts.

Northern Research Station scientist Melody Keena and collaborators compared the native and post-invasion niches of four invasive forest pests—Sirex woodwasps, Asian longhorned beetle, sudden oak death, and Dutch elm disease—to determine if these species experienced shifts or changes in their new climatic niches. They discovered that most of these species showed climatic niche shifts in their invasive range and had not yet fully occupied the available niche within the invaded range. The species also varied the proportion of niche overlap between the native and invasive ranges. By comparing native and invasive niches, scientists can help predict a species’ potential range expansion and invasion potential. This information can be used together with some of the other spatial and temporal predictive models that were also developed through this collaboration. This will enable scientists to predict the spread dynamics of invasive species in the infested range and will be used to design short- and long-term management strategies for the invasive species.



Research Partners

External Partners

  • Vivek Srivastava, Verena C. Griess, and Richard C. Hamelin, University of British Columbia
  • Wanwan Liang, North Carolina State University
  • Amanda D. Roe, Natural Resources Canada