Conservation applications of niche modeling: Native and naturalized ferns may compete for limited Hawaiian dryland habitat

Krystalyn Edwards-Calma, Laura Jiménez, Rosana Zenil-Ferguson, Karolina Heyduk, Miles K. Thomas, Carrie M. Tribble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Premise: Competition from naturalized species and habitat loss are common threats to native biodiversity and may act synergistically to increase competition for decreasing habitat availability. We use Hawaiian dryland ferns as a model for the interactions between land-use change and competition from naturalized species in determining habitat availability. Methods: We used fine-resolution climatic variables and carefully curated occurrence data from herbaria and community science repositories to estimate the distributions of Hawaiian dryland ferns. We quantified the degree to which naturalized ferns tend to occupy areas suitable for native species and mapped the remaining available habitat given land-use change. Results: Of all native species, Doryopteris angelica had the lowest percentage of occurrences of naturalized species in its suitable area while D. decora had the highest. However, all Doryopteris spp. had a higher percentage overlap, while Pellaea ternifolia had a lower percentage overlap, than expected by chance. Doryopteris decora and D. decipiens had the lowest proportions (<20%) of suitable area covering native habitat. Discussion: Areas characterized by shared environmental preferences of native and naturalized ferns may decrease due to human development and fallowed agricultural lands. Our study demonstrates the value of place-based application of a recently developed correlative ecological niche modeling approach for conservation risk assessment in a rapidly changing and urbanized island ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11598
JournalApplications in Plant Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Applications in Plant Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Botanical Society of America.


  • climatic niche
  • conservation
  • correlative ecological niche modeling
  • Hawaiian ferns
  • land use
  • Pteridaceae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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