Modeling Potential Range Expansion of the Invasive Shrub Leucaena leucocephala in the Hengchun Peninsula, Taiwan Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractPrediction of invasive species distributions from survey data is widely recognized as a significant component of forest management and conservation planning. Leucaena leucocephala is the most aggressive invasive shrub and tree in the Hengchun peninsula in southern Taiwan. We analyzed geo-referenced data to identify potential variables of invasion and to predict likelihood of further invasion using boosted regression trees. Our results, which classified 92% of the cells correctly with regard to species presence and absence, indicated probability of invasion is correlated with climatic conditions (temperature and precipitation), landscape features (altitude; slope ratio and aspect; percentages of natural or secondary forest, agriculture land, developed area, and water bodies; and distances to the nearest forest edge and river), and anthropogenic factors (length of forest edge, and distances to the nearest road and agriculture land). The most influential variables are average annual temperature, altitude, precipitation, and slope. Continued range expansion by L. leucocephala is most likely to proceed (1) from the eastern and western portions toward the central portion of Hengchun township and (2) throughout the southern and toward the eastern portions of Manjhou township. Our model should provide useful information to aid forest managers in the development of long term monitoring and control strategies for L. leucocephala, in the early detection and eradication of newly established invasions, and also a framework for the integration and analysis of new presence and absence field data as they become available.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Chiou, C., Wang, H., Chen, Y., Grant, W. E., & Lu, M.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Chiou, Chyi-Rong||Wang, Hsiao-Hsuan||Chen, Yen-Jui||Grant, William E||Lu, Ming-Lun

publication date

  • December 2013