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Climatic-requirements models of cat’s claw creeper Macfadyena unguis-cati (Bignoniaceae) to prioritise areas for exploration and release of biological control agents

Journal Article

Rafter M; Wilson A; Wilmot Senaratne K; Dhileepan K

2008

Biological Control

44

168-179

Climate matching software (CLIMEX) was used to prioritise areas to explore for biological control agents in the native range of cat’s claw creeper Macfadyena unguis-cati (Bignoniaceae) and to prioritise areas to release the agents in the introduced ranges of the plant. The native distribution of cat’s claw creeper was used to predict the potential range of climatically suitable habitats for cat’s claw creeper in its introduced ranges. A Composite Match Index (CMI) of cat’s claw creeper was determined with the ‘Match Climates’ function in order to match the ranges in Australia and South Africa where the plant is introduced with its native range in South and Central America. This information was used to determine which areas might yield climatically-adapted agents. Locations in northern Argentina had CMI values which best matched sites with cat’s claw creeper infestations in Australia and South Africa. None of the sites from where three currently prioritised biological control agents for cat’s claw creeper were collected had CMI values higher than 0.8. The analysis showed that central and eastern Argentina south Brazil Uruguay and parts of Bolivia and Paraguay should be prioritised for exploration for new biological control agents for cat’s claw creeper to be used in Australia and South Africa.

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Support

The Liana Ecology Project is supported by Marquette University and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.