Invading at a snail’s pace

In this study, researchers used GBIF-mediated occurrences to create an ecological niche model that maps the current and future patterns in India of the giant African snail (Achatina fulica), considered one of the world’s worst invasive species.

Data resources used via GBIF : 231 species occurrences

In this study, researchers used GBIF-mediated occurrences to create an ecological niche model that maps the current and future patterns in India of the giant African snail (Achatina fulica), considered one of the world’s worst invasive species. Native to East Africa, the snail is known to consume 50 species of plants, regularly outcompetes native snails, and carries pathogens that cause disease in humans. 60 per cent of India faces invasion, and this study revealed three high-risk invasion hotspots: western India, parts of peninsular India, and eastern India. Models under future climate scenarios predict that these regions will be even more prone to invasion, highlighting the country’s need to control this noxious species.

Citations

Sunday JM, Pecl GT, Frusher S, Hobday AJ, Hill N, Holbrook NJ, Edgar GJ, Stuart-Smith R, Barrett N, Wernberg T, Watson RA, Smale DA, Fulton EA, Slawinski D, Feng M, Radford BT, Thompson PA and Bates AE (2015) Species traits and climate velocity explain geographic range shifts in an ocean-warming hotspot. Ecology Letters. Wiley-Blackwell, 944–953. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.12474.

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