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Alien species in a changing world

Alien species in a changing world: Detection, monitoring and prediction


PIs: Dr. André Große-Stoltenberg, Prof. Till Kleinebecker

Researchers: Marcel Dogotari, M.Sc., Mojdeh Safaei, M.Sc., Niklas Schnepel, M.Sc.

Duration: 2021-2023

Funding agency: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Hauptvorhaben: Germany, Czech Republic

Cooperation partner: Dr. Jana Müllerová, Institute of Botany, CAS Průhonice, Department of GIS and Remote Sensing

Mapping and modelling of Ailanthus altissima, an Invasive Alien Species (IAS) of EU concern

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are among the most important drivers of negative ecosystem changes across the globe, and there is a need for transferable methods for early detection of IAS. Therefore, we aim to initiate a collaboration between two institutions with documented knowledge and experience in mapping and modelling IAS. We aim to develop a powerful tool for nature conservation and landscape management of IAS based on a combination of remote sensing (RS) and predictive modelling. We select a model IAS of EU concern, Ailanthus altissima, which poses a threat to highly valuable Natura 2000 habitats and is likely to benefit from global warming. Being still at the early stage of invasion, effective monitoring and predictive tools could prevent high impacts and expensive management measures. Despite this fact, neither RS detection methodology nor detailed potential distribution maps for Central Europe exist. Therefore, we aim to align workflows for mapping and early detection of IAS in Czech and German landscapes, to produce joint publications for future research projects, and to educate young scientist who will potentially be working in our future projects.