Modelling the role of environmental variables in determining the distribution of invasive Burmese Python in Florida

Zella Conyers, Shouraseni Sen Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The objective of this study was to model the relationship between environmental variables and the spatial distribution of the Burmese Python across Florida. MaxEnt model was utilized to understand the relative preference of pythons based on environmental variables. While Burmese Python presence is most prevalent along roads and canals, our study moves beyond these human-made paths to identify other environmental variables, which determine their presence. The distribution is mostly restricted to southern Florida and probability of presence is high in areas where elevation is 0–1 feet and mean temperature range between 24 and 25 °C. The most suitable habitats were located throughout wetlands, where the soil is shallow that sits atop limestone bedrock. There was also a seasonal shift in the spatial patterns. During the dry season, the distribution was spread throughout the south of the state with several areas of clustering. While, during the wet season the distribution was clustered throughout the south of the state with areas of high probability along the southwest coast. Moreover, the probability of presence is highest during the dry season in areas identified as urban and wetlands. The results of our study fills a gap in invasive species management by providing a new and inexpensive way to monitor the distribution and spread of Burmese Pythons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-760
Number of pages12
JournalSpatial Information Research
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Burmese python
  • Florida
  • Invasive species
  • MaxEnt
  • Species distribution modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications

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