Neophyte modelling

Future occurrence potential of two plants hazardous to health in the canton of Grisons.

As part of the pilot program of the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN for adaptation to climate change, Egli Engineering AG has modelled the current and future potential distribution area of two invasive alien plants (neophytes) in cooperation with the canton of Grisons. Giant hogweed and narrow-leaved ragwort are harmful to human and animal health and displace native plant species.

Climate change is leading to an increase in temperature and altered rainfall patterns in Switzerland. This can increase the potential for spread of individual neophytes. Egli Engineering AG used two climate scenarios to model the potential distribution area of the two plants in the canton of Grisons. The results show that in the future the potential of spreading is indeed increasing. Furthermore, it could be shown that human activities (e.g. the roads and paths) also play a decisive role in the probability of occurrence.

The results of the modelling will be used by the canton of Grisons to raise awareness and adapt the cantonal concept for neophyte management. The maps of future occurrence probability can be used to raise awareness in communities that are not or hardly affected by these neophytes today. This should help promote readiness for early detection and rigorous control. In this way, the spread of the disease can be limited and the effort required for control and, above all, any damage can be decisively reduced.

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