HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Matthew Johnston

Second Advisor

Bernhard Riegl

Third Advisor

Kenneth A. Hayes


Forecasting the potential range of invasive species is a critical component for risk assessment, monitoring, and management. However, many of these invasive species are not yet at equilibrium which can be problematic for many modelling approaches. Using the climate matching method, MaxEnt, a series of species distribution models (SDMs) and risk analysis maps were created for select apple snail species in Florida: Pomacea canaliculata, P. diffusa, and P. maculata. Apple snails, freshwater gastropods in the family Ampullariidae, are native to South America and were introduced to the United States via the pet trade approximately 40 years ago. These highly invasive species have already been introduced in ten states and established in at least seven. The models and risk analysis in this study show the majority of Florida was at least moderately suitable for all apple snails modeled, with P. maculata posing the greatest threat.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.