Predicting spread of the invasive macrophyte Cabomba caroliniana in Ontario

Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research

First Advisor

Fisk, Aaron (Earth & Environmental Sciences)


Biology, Ecology.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Humans play a major role in the global spread of nonindigenous species (NIS). Predicting spread of NIS requires an understanding of where propagules are being transported, whether these propagules can survive in novel habitats and whether they can integrate successfully within the recipient community. 'Cabomba caroliniana' is an aquatic plant, native to South America that is now widespread globally. This study is the first attempt to model a macrophyte species using a combination of passive and active dispersal models coupled with an environmental suitability component to measure the first two stages of the invasion process - introduction effort and environmental tolerance - to forecast 'Cabomba' spread in Ontario. Results indicate that Rice, Scugog and Round Lakes have the greatest invasion risk by 'Cabomba' due to the combination of boater and water movement and lake suitability. The best predictors of lake suitability were pH, mean lake temperature and dissolved calcium, respectively.