John Silander and colleagues (all EEB alumni) published their research on the effects of climate change on invasive species in New England in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vouchers for their research are deposited in the CONN herbarium.

Citation: Merow, C., S.T. Bois, J.M. Allen, Y. Xie & J.A. Silander. 2017. Climate change both facilitates and inhibits invasive plant ranges in New England. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(16): E3276-E3284. pdf

The significance of the study: Invasive species are often expected to benefit from novel conditions encountered with global change. Our range models based on demography show that invasive Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) may have much lower establishment in New England under future climate, despite prolific success under current climate, whereas other invasive and native plants may expand their ranges. Forecasts suggest that management should focus on inhibiting northward spread of A. petiolata into unoccupied areas and understanding source–sink population dynamics and how community dynamics might respond to loss of A. petiolata (it modifies soil properties). Our methods illustrate inadequacy of current approaches to forecasting invasions in progress, which are based on correlations between species’ occurrence and environment and illustrate critical need for mechanistic studies.