The potential effect of invasive plant species on biodiversity is one of most important subject of inquiry at present. In many parts of the world, the alarming spread of these plants has been documented. Knowing that climate exerts a dominant control over the distribution of plant species, predictions can therefore be made to determine which areas the species would likely spread under a climate change scenario and that is what this study aims to tackle. In the current study, a total of 211 species occurrence points were used to model the current and projected suitability of Piper aduncum in Bukidnon, Philippines using Maxent. Results revealed that the suitability of the species was determined primarily by climatic factors with Bio 18 (precipitation of the warmest quarter) as the strongest influencing variable with a mean percent contribution of 22.1%. The resulting model was highly accurate based on its mean test Area Under Curve that is equal to 0.917. Current prediction shows that suitable areas for Piper are concentrated along the southern portion of Bukidnon. Only 9% of the province is suitable for the species at present but is predicted to increase to 27% because of climate change. The central and southwestern parts of the province are the areas of high threat for invasion by Piper.
- Piper aduncum L. is most abundant is the central and southern portion of the Bukidnon province in Philippines
- 291% gain in suitable habitats denoting expansion of invasion range of species
- Most gains are in central part of Bukidnon province
- Highly suitable areas are found in Maramag, Kalilangan and Valencia.