Archive for the ‘distribution and abundance’ Category

PBDMs for evidence-based pest risk assessment

November 26, 2015 Leave a comment

The distribution and abundance of species that cause economic loss (i.e., pests) in crops, forests or livestock depends on many biotic and abiotic factors that are thought difficult to separate and quantify on geographical and temporal scales. However, the weather-driven biology and dynamics of such species and of relevant interacting species in their food chain or web can be captured via mechanistic physiologically based demographic models (PBDMs) that can be implemented in the context of a geographic information system (GIS) to project their potential geographic distribution and relative abundance given observed or climate change scenarios of weather. PBDMs may include bottom-up effects of the host on pest dynamics and, if appropriate, the top-down action of natural enemies. When driven by weather, PBDMs predict the phenology, age structure and abundance dynamics at one or many locations enabling projecting the distribution of the interacting species across wide geographic areas. PBDMs are able to capture relevant ecosystem complexity within a modest number of measurable parameters because they use the same ecological models of analogous resource acquisition and allocation processes across all trophic levels. The use of these analogies makes parameter estimation easier as the underlying functions are known. This is a significant advantage in cases where the available biological data is sparse.

Ponti L., Gilioli G., Biondi A., Desneux N., Gutierrez A.P., 2015. Physiologically based demographic models streamline identification and collection of data in evidence-based pest risk assessment. EPPO Bulletin, 45: 317-322.

PBDM sub-models used for all species.

Risk assessment for tiger mosquito in Europe

July 19, 2015 Leave a comment

The Asian tiger mosquito (Ae. albopictus) is indigenous to the oriental region, but is now widespread throughout the world. It is an aggressive mosquito, which causes nuisance and is well known vector of important human disease. It is one of the world’s most invasive species and is now invading Europe by both natural means and human assisted dispersal. Currently, there is no consensus on the limits of its potential geographic distribution in Europe. For this reason, studying the role that environmental driving variables, mainly temperature, play in determining the spatial variation of the potential population abundance of the mosquito should be considered a high priority. To assess the risk posed by Ae. albopictus to Europe, a lattice model based on the temperature-dependent physiologically based demographic modelling approach has been developed and is being tested against field observations. The area of potential distribution of this insect is simulated as driven by current climate and climate change scenarios. An index of population abundance is derived in order to investigate the average annual abundance as well as the change in the pattern of population dynamics as a function of the local climatic conditions. Uncertainty affecting model parameters is also considered and the implication on model simulation is evaluated.

Gilioli G., Pasquali S., Ponti L., Calvitti M., Moretti R., Gutierrez A.P., 2015. Modelling the potential distribution and abundance of Aedes albopictus in Europe under climate change. Impact of Environmental Changes on Infectious Diseases, Sitges, Spain, 23-25 March 2015.

Area of potential establishment for the tiger mosquito in Europe under +2 °C climate warming.

Invasive species and climate change: the PBDM approach

September 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Assessing the geographic distribution and abundance of invasive species is critical for developing sound management and/or eradication policies. Ecological niche modelling approaches (ENMs) that make implicit assumptions about biology and mathematics are commonly used to predict the potential distribution of invasive species based on their recorded distribution. An alternative approach is physiologically based demographic modelling (PBDM), which explicitly incorporates the mathematics and the observed biology, including trophic interactions, to predict the temporal phenology and dynamics of a species across wide geographic areas. The invasive weed, yellow starthistle (YST) (Centaurea solstitialis), and its interactions with annual grasses and herbivorous biological control agents is used to demonstrate the utility of the PBDM approach for analysing complex invasive species problems. The PBDM predicts the distribution and relative abundance of YST accurately across the western USA, and the results are used to assess the effects of temperature, rainfall, competition from grasses and the efficacy of biocontrol efforts. Such an effort could also be used to include the direct effects of rising carbon dioxide on YST biology. A bioeconomic model could be developed to show how the YST PBDM analysis can also be used to assess the biological and economic effects of climate change on YST infestation levels regionally. Finally, this chapter discusses the need for a unified system for assessing invasive species problems at the field, regional and global levels, with the goal of enhancing the development of efficacious policy and management decisions.

Gutierrez A.P., Ponti L., 2014. Assessing and managing the impact of climate change on invasive species: the PBDM approach. In: Ziska L.H., Dukes J.S., (eds.), Invasive Species and Global Climate Change. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK. ISBN: 978-1780641645.

Trophic interactions in the yellow starthistle PBDM system.

Analysis of invasive insects: links to climate change

September 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Climate change is expected to alter the geographic distribution and abundance of many species, to increase the invasion of new areas by exotic species and, in some cases, to lead to extinction of species. This chapter reviews some of the links between invasive insects and climate change. The effects of climate change on insect pest populations can be direct, through impacts on their physiology and behaviour, or indirect, through biotic interactions (i.e. bottom-up and top-down eff ects). Anthropogenic climate and global change is expected to be a major driver in the introduction, establishment, distribution, impact and changes in the efficacy of mitigation strategies for invasive species. To address these problems, we must be able to predict climate change impacts on species distribution and abundance. Commonly used ecological niche modelling approaches have implicit assumptions about the biology of the target species and attempt to characterize the ecological niche using aggregate weather and other factors in the area of recorded distribution. More holistic physiologically based demographic modelling approaches explicitly describe the biological and physiological responses of species to weather and the species they interact with on fine temporal and spatial scales. The geographic distribution and relative abundance of four invasive insect pests are reviewed under observed and +2°C weather scenarios across the USA and Mexico: the tropical New World screwworm, the pink bollworm, the Mediterranean fruit fly (i.e. medfly) and the olive fly. The distribution of the olive fly is examined across the Mediterranean basin to illustrate the transferability of the model to analyses of new regions and climate change scenarios.

Gutierrez A.P., Ponti L., 2014. Analysis of invasive insects: links to climate change. In: Ziska L.H., Dukes J.S., (eds.), Invasive Species and Global Climate Change. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK. ISBN: 978-1780641645.

Dry matter partitioning in a ladybeetle PBDM.

Invasive species: why the biology matters

October 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Using published bi- and tri-trophic physiologically-based demographic system models having similar sub components, the geographic distributions and relative abundance (a measure of invasiveness) of six invasive herbivorous insect species is assessed prospectively across the United States and Mexico. The models used are mechanistic descriptions of the weather-driven biology of the species. The plant hosts and insect species included in the study are: (1) cotton/pink bollworm, (2) a fruit tree host/Mediterranean fruit fly, (3) olive/olive fly, (4) a perennial host/light brown apple moth; (5) grapevine/glassy-winged sharpshooter and its two egg parasitoids, (6) grapevine/European grapevine moth. All of these species are currently or have been targets for eradication. The goal of the analyses is to predict and explain prospectively the disparate distributions of the six species as a basis for examining eradication/containment efforts against them. The eradication of the new world screwworm is also reviewed in the discussion section because of its pivotal role in the development of the eradication paradigm.

Gutierrez A.P., Ponti L., 2013. Eradication of invasive species: why the biology matters. Environmental Entomology, 42: 395-411. | Free PDF reprint

Prospective analysis of European grapevine moth

April 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The polyphagous European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Den. & Schiff.) is the principal native pest of grape berries in the Palearctic region. It was found in Napa County, California, in 2009, and it has subsequently been recorded in an additional nine counties, despite an ongoing eradication program. A holistic physiologically-based demographic model for L. botrana linked to an extant mechanistic model of grapevine was run using observed daily weather data to simulate and map (via GRASS GIS) the potential distribution of the moth in California and the continental U.S.A. The model predicts L. botrana can spread statewide with the highest populations expected in the hotter regions of southern California and the lower half of the Central Valley. In the U.S.A., areas of highest favorability include south Texas, and much of the southeast U.S.A. With climate warming, L. botrana abundance is expected to increase in northern California and in the agriculturally rich Central Valley but to decrease in the hot deserts of southern California due to high summer temperatures.

Gutierrez A.P., Ponti L., Cooper M.L., Gilioli G., Baumgärtner J., Duso C., 2012. Prospective analysis of the invasive potential of the European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Den. & Schiff.) in California. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, DOI 10.1111/j.1461-9563.2011.00566.x.