Meeting Abstract

P2.17  Thursday, Jan. 5  Testing the predictive ability of niche-based models using a natural range retraction CRICKENBERGER, S; Clemson University, Clemson, SC scricke@gmail.com

A major goal of invasion ecology is to predict the range shifts and potential range limits of non-native species. Niche-based models are commonly used to achieve these goals. However, natural range shifts that enable the predictive ability of these models to be tested rarely present themselves. The barnacle Megabalanus coccopoma is native to shores extending from Baja California to Peru and has been introduced to the US Southeast, as well as a number of other locations worldwide. Prior to the cold winter of 2009/2010, its range in the US Southeast extended north to Cape Hatteras, NC with some peripheral, temporary populations as far north as Kitty Hawk, NC. During the winter of 2009/2010 the range of M. coccopoma shifted dramatically when all M. coccopoma north of Florida died. Subsequently, during the summer of 2010, new recruits appeared as far north as Tybee Island, Georgia; in the summer of 2011 recruits were found just south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. These data, along with data from surveys in the summer of 2012 and relevant environmental data, will be used to test the ability of two commonly used niche-based models, GARP and MAXENT, to predict the range shifts observed.