Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (8): 21443.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021443

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity •     Next Articles

The climate niche is stable and the distribution area of Ageratina adenophora is predicted to expand in China

Bo Wei1,2, Linshan Liu1, Changjun Gu1,2, Haibin Yu3, Yili Zhang1,2,*(), Binghua Zhang1,2, Bohao Cui1,2, Dianqing Gong1,2, Yanli Tu4   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Beijing 100101
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3. School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510275
    4. Tibet Plateau Institute of Biology, Lhasa 850001
  • Received:2021-11-07 Accepted:2022-03-29 Online:2022-08-20 Published:2022-08-31
  • Contact: Yili Zhang


Aim: Understanding the spatiotemporal climate niche dynamics of invasive species not only helps us recognize the trend of change in their niche, but also enables a more accurate prediction of the distribution model for the diffusion dynamics of species. In this study, Ageratina adenophora (Asteraceae), a highly aggressive invasive plant, was selected to analyze whether its climate niche changed and predicted its distribution pattern in future.

Methods: We utilized the species occurrence data and bioclimatic variables to analyze the spatiotemporal climate niche dynamics, pattern of geographical distribution, and main limiting factors of the species based on a niche analysis and species distribution model.

Results: We found that the climate niche of A. adenophora slightly expanded, but remained highly stable. The climate niche of the initial introduction stage (before 1980) was the most stable, and the stability of its climate niche gradually decreased over time. In particular, this species was more inclined to grow in humid (high precipitation of warmest quarter), cold (low mean temperature of driest quarter), and low mean diurnal range habitats in China. The suitable distribution range of A. adenophora increased significantly from 151.77% to 271.14% during the past five decades, and the center of its suitable distribution area exhibited a trend of diffusion to the Northeast (Southwest Guizhou and Southern Sichuan) before 2010, and to the Southwest (Northern Yunnan and Northern Guizhou) after 2010. The stability of the climate niche of this species also tended to decrease as the species diffused to higher latitudes. The suitable distribution range of A. adenophora will increase by 111.97% and can basically disperse to the whole potential suitable distribution range in 2040. Only a small range of suitable habitat in the southeastern Xizang was immune to colonization due to dispersal limitation.

Conclusion: As the suitable distribution area of A. adenophora in China has increased during the past five decades, its climate niche has remained highly stable. Ageratina adenophora could disperse further in the future, and the min temperature of coldest month is the main variable that limits the northward dispersal of A. adenophora.

Key words: biological invasion, Ageratina adenophora, climate niche, potential distribution