Dr. Monica G.Turner
Department of Integrative Biology
University of Wisconsin
430 Lincoln Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
Ecosystem and
Landscape Ecology Lab

Invasive Plants in North America and East Asia


Tom Albright


invasive plants, US, China, North America, East Asia, ecological niche modeling, distribution modeling

Project Summary

Because of the high potential for biological invasion between the US and China, we are investigating the distribution of Sino-American invasive plants, the environmental factors that influence these distributions in both native and exotic ranges, and the ability to predict them using statistical and machine-learning tools. Together with our partners at the US Geological Survey and the National Geomatics Center of China, we are developing distribution data from herbarium specimens, a GIS database of environmental predictor variables, and prediction models for the following species:

  • Chinese tallow tree (Traidica sebifera L. Small)
  • oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.)
  • tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima (P. Mill.) Swingle)
  • Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Herder)
  • kudzu (Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr. var. lobata (Willd.) Maesen & S. Almeida)
  • common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.)
  • crofton weed, sticky snakeroot (Ageratina adenophora (Spreng.) King & H.E. Robins)
  • water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms)
  • Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis L.)
  • saltmarsh aster (Symphyotrichum subulatum (Michx.) Nesom)

For each of these species, we pose the following questions:

  1. What is the speciesí native range distribution and what factors explain its distribution?
  2. What is the speciesí exotic range distribution, what factors explain this, and do these factors differ from those in the native range?
  3. What is the potential for the species to expand beyond its current exotic range distribution?

Key Findings

In progress


US Geological Survey Geography Discipline funding for the cooperative research agreement, 03CRAG0016, entitled, “Predicting the potential distribution of trans-Pacific invasive plants using remote sensing, GIS, and ecological modeling” is gratefully acknowledged.