Invasion risk atlas for alien aquatic plants in the iberian peninsula

Across the world, alien species represent one of the greatest threats to natural systems and are a chief cause of biodiversity loss. Aquatic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the introduction and propagation of non-native taxa. Consequently, a key conservation challenge remains predicting where invasions are most likely to occur. The aim of this invasion risk atlas is thus two-fold: (1) to shine a spotlight on the alien aquatic plants that have invaded or are likely to invade the Iberian Peninsula and (2) to provide an effective means for identifying the areas at greatest risk. This resource provides a set of maps for mainland Portugal and Spain that show the degree of habitat suitability for various alien aquatic plants.

At present, species distribution models are the tool used to estimate habitat suitability. They have become popular for two main reasons: (1) distribution data for alien species is often incomplete or lacking and (2) research resources for filling these gaps are often limited. These models can infer species distributions in areas where no sampling has occurred by employing predictor variables arising from information about where the species have been observed.

The Invasion Risk Atlas for Alien Aquatic Plants in the Iberian Peninsula is intended to serve as a reference tool for decision-makers, regional land managers, and anyone interested in species and habitat conservation. The information presented here can help inform the development of public policies, management regimes, and control strategies aimed at mitigating and preventing biological invasions.