5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Joseph Andreoli
Session Name Poster Session - Climate Change & Variability
Poster Number 1
Author(s) Joseph  Andreoli,  UF Department of Geography (Presenting Author)
  Predicting the Geographic Ranges of Non-Native Cichlids in Florida with Climate Change
  Invasive species and climate change are two of the most pressing issues facing Florida today. The state is a hotspot for non-native fish introductions, including cichlids. Cichlids are a popular group of fish in aquaculture, and among anglers and aquarists, with many species having established populations in Florida. These species cause various environmental and socioeconomic impacts to the state. This study correlates the georeferenced presence points of six different cichlid species in Florida and the current bioclimatic (BIOCLIM) and hydrologic (HYDRO1K) variables at those sites using maximum entropy modeling (MAXENT), in a species distribution modeling (SDM) framework. These relationships are then extrapolated to two different representative concentration pathways (RCPs) for the years 2050 and 2070. The resulting maps give us predictions to where in Florida suitable habitat for a given species exists at a fine resolution of 1 km2. The geographic ranges vary from species to species, with a general trend of expansion throughout the state in the future given climate change. As eradication is difficult once a species becomes established, these models have use in informing risk assessments for sister taxa. There is predictive power in uncovering what parameters drive non-native cichlid ranges in Florida. These findings can be expanded to what variables are important for aquatic non-native species establishment at global and regional scales. For regions supporting rich fish diversity and endemism like the Southeastern United States, managers may use these findings in prioritizing effort and limited resources in controlling those non-native species causing the most negative impacts.