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Predicted effect of climate change on the invasibility and distribution of the Western corn root-worm
Agricultural and Forest Entomology
1 Insect pests, biological invasions and climate change are considered to representmajor threats to biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, agriculture and forestry.Deriving hypothesis of contemporary and/or future potential distributions of insectpests and invasive species is becoming an important tool for predicting the spatialstructure of potential threats.2 The western corn rootworm (WCR) Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte is apest of maize in North America that has invaded Europe in recent years, resultingin economic costs in terms of maize yields in both continents. The present studyaimed to estimate the dynamics of potential areas of invasion by the WCR under aclimate change scenario in the Northern Hemisphere. The areas at risk under thisscenario were assessed by comparing, using complementary approaches, the spatialprojections of current and future areas of climatic favourability of the WCR. Spatialhypothesis were generated with respect to the presence records in the native rangeof the WCR and physiological thresholds from previous empirical studies.3 We used a previously developed protocol specifically designed to estimatethe climatic favourability of the WCR. We selected the most biologicallyrelevant climatic predictors and then used multidimensional envelope (MDE) andMahalanobis distances (MD) approaches to derive potential distributions for currentand future climatic conditions.4 The results obtained showed a northward advancement of the upper physiologicallimit as a result of climate change, which might increase the strength of outbreaksat higher latitudes. In addition, both MDE and MD outputs predict the stability ofclimatic favourability for the WCR in the core of the already invaded area in Europe,which suggests that this zone would continue to experience damage from this pestin Europe.
BIOCLIM, biological invasion, climate change, climatic favourability, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, insect pest, Mahalanobis distances.
Web of science
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