This Climate Match Tool was designed to support the Plant Risk Evaluator (PRE) webtool, which assesses the risk of a plant becoming invasive in a given region of interest. (Neither PRE nor this tool are designed to work for aquatic plants, just for terrestrial plants.) The tool shows whether a plant species occurs in other areas of the world with a climate similar to the region of interest. This is a useful function for those using other invasive plant assessment approaches since a plant’s behavior in other places with a similar climate is often a key criterion.
This tool compares climatic parameters in the selected region of interest with parameters around the world. The three climatic parameters considered are precipitation (in bands of 10 inches annual precipitation), USDA hardiness zone ("Hardiness"), and UN global ecological zone ("Ecozone"). By combining all three ("Combined"), the tool determines which areas around the globe match at least a part of the region of interest.
Data for precipitation bands and plant hardiness zones: "The NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis," in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, August 2010. https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/yxue/pub/27.pdf
Methods for precipitation bands and plant hardiness zones: "Global plant hardiness zones for phytosanitary risk analysis," in Scientia Agricola 65:54-59, 2008. https://www.scielo.br/j/sa/a/QpBRyPmZQTXsG6VrQYmv9zy/?lang=en&format=pdf
Global ecozones: "Global ecofloristic zones mapped by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization," 2008. https://databasin.org/datasets/dc4f6efd1fa84ea99df61ae9c5b3b763/
Plant species distribution: Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). https://www.gbif.org/
The data presented on the map has a resolution of 0.1 degrees (approximately 10,500m square).
Select your region of interest from the dropdown menus for States or Ecoregions. You can select regions by clicking on the list or on the map, and you may select multiple regions. To de-select a region, click on it again. A black outline will appear around selected regions. The map will show other areas whose climate matches the climate in part or all of the selected region of interest. You can adjust the transparency of the climate layer using the slider.
Select a plant species by typing its scientific or common name into the search box, clicking the search button, and selecting the appropriate species from the list of options. The map will show the plant’s known presence worldwide. Note that the size of the grid cells is scale-dependent – they get smaller as you zoom in.
If you wish to save your result or send the search parameters to a colleague, use the "Share and Download" button.