A holy grail mission of invasion biologists is to be able to predict which species will become invasive and to what extent. One of the tools that have been attempted employed with this aim, is species distribution modelling (SDM). For my master’s, I looked at the ability of reciprocal distribution modelling to predict the known range of the Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa) across three continents.
Results showed great discrepancies between predicted distribution and actual known distribution. The species, while invasive in Europe and increasingly problematic in North America, is considered endangered in some areas of its’ native range. Our models identified areas of concern regarding future expansion of the species in its’ exotic ranges, but also areas in its native range, which were predicted suitable, but unoccupied, and may therefore pose possible areas of conservation introduction.