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PLoS One. 2012; 7(7): e42140.
Published online Jul 27, 2012. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0042140
PMCID: PMC3407094

Potential Distribution of the Australian Native Chloris truncata Based on Modelling Both the Successful and Failed Global Introductions

Hans Henrik Bruun, Editor


Our aim was to model the current and future potential global distribution of Chloris truncata (windmill grass) based on the plant's biology, soil requirements and colonisation success. The growth response of C. truncata to constant temperatures and soil moisture levels were measured and estimated respectively, to develop parameters for a CLIMEX bioclimatic model of potential distribution. The native distribution in eastern Australia and naturalised distribution in Western Australia was also used to inform the model. Associations with soil types were assessed within the suitable bioclimatic region in Australia. The global projection of the model was tested against the distribution of soil types and the known successful and failed global introductions. The verified model was then projected to future conditions due to climate change. Optimal temperature for plant development was 28°C and the plant required 970 degree-days above a threshold of 10°C. Early collection records indicate that the species is native to Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The plant has been introduced elsewhere in Australia and throughout the world as a wool contaminant and as a potential pasture species, but some of the recorded establishments have failed to persist. The CLIMEX model projected to the world reflected effectively both the successful and failed distributions. The inclusion of soil associations improved the explanation of the observed distribution in Australia, but did not improve the ability to determine the potential distribution elsewhere, due to lack of similarity of soil types between continents. The addition of a climate change projection showed decreased suitability for this species in Australia, but increased suitability for other parts of the world, including regions where the plant previously failed to establish.

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