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Geographical distribution modelling of the bronze bug: a worldwide invasion

Sara I. Montemayor, Pablo M. Dellapé, María C. Melo
Agricultural and forest entomology 2015 v.17 no.2 pp. 129-137
Eucalyptus, climate, data collection, databases, environmental factors, geographical distribution, humans, model validation, models, planting, probability, Africa, Central America, China, South America
The present study investigated the environmental variables that define a suitable climate for the bronze bug, Thaumastocoris peregrinus Carpintero & Dellapé, using presence‐only data, with the aim of identifying areas that have a suitable climate (and thus high probability) for future colonization and generating a spatially explicit predictive map of environmental suitability. An occurrence database (293 records) was compiled mainly from the literature. The environmental data were obtained from the WorldClim 1.3 dataset, and the models were performed using maxent, version 3.3.3k. Model performance was evaluated through cross‐validation. We used the null models approach to test our models. For model calibration, two datasets were defined (a non conservative dataset and a conservative one) by comparing the bioclimatic variables between native and introduced range using boxplots. According to both models, the range for T. peregrinus will continue to expand. In South America and Africa, the distribution of the bronze bug may expand mainly to the north‐east and central areas. Special attention should be given to the regions of southern U.S.A., Central America, and southern China and nearby countries, where conditions are highly suitable but the bronze bug has not yet been recorded and could only arrive by human means. Because Eucalyptus species, many of which are highly susceptible to infestation by the bronze bug, are increasingly being planted around the world, and because the bronze bug has spread so rapidly over the past 8 years, the bronze bug may be expected to appear in many areas where it has not yet been recorded.