GEP  Vol.6 No.9 , September 2018
Distribution of Prunus serotina Ehrh. in North America and Its Invasion in Europe
Abstract: Black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.) is a native North American plant species. It includes five subspecies and is currently invasive in Europe. Since pre-Hispanic times, black cherry has been known and used by American inhabitants, and its botanical use was reported in the 19th century. The present study describes the taxonomic richness and taxonomic diversity of the species based on data from 554 taxonomically confirmed collection sites. Additionally, 19 climatic parameters were used to estimate the current and future potential distribution patterns of black cherry applying a climate change model to North America and Europe. Regions of northeast Mexico, northwestern Mexico, the Great American Basin, and the Mississippi River-Great Lakes region in the USA are shown as areas where taxa of P. serotina are present. The potential distribution model of black cherry in North America shows a continuous pattern starting in the Center of Mexico and following both main Mexican mountain ranges (Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental). The pattern extends following two different paths throughout northern Mexico toward the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians in the USA. Based on the NOAA-CCM3 climatic change model, decreased rainfall in wetlands will result in changes in future patterns in America. When applied to Europe, our model shows more extensive regions and more accurately than previous estimations; thus, the current potential distribution of the species includes important areas in the western part of the continent. The potential effect of climate change on P. serotina distribution suggests new and wider areas of possible invasion of this species throughout the continent mainly in France, Germany, and Italy. We suggest take into account the whole American taxa included in this species in the end to study its potential invasion in Europe and establishing suitable control strategies.
Cite this paper: Segura, S. , Guzmán-Díaz, F. , López-Upton, J. , Mathuriau, C. and López-Medina, J. (2018) Distribution of Prunus serotina Ehrh. in North America and Its Invasion in Europe. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 6, 111-124. doi: 10.4236/gep.2018.69009.

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