Predicting the fundamental thermal niche of crop pests and diseases in a changing world: a case study on citrus greening

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Rachel A TaylorLeah R Johnson


Predicting where crop pests and diseases can occur, both now and in the future under different climate change scenarios, is a major challenge for crop management. One solution is to estimate the fundamental thermal niche of the pest/disease to indicate where establishment is possible. Here we develop methods for estimating and displaying the fundamental thermal niche of pests and pathogens and apply these methods to Huanglongbing (HLB), a vector-borne disease that is currently threatening the citrus industry worldwide. We derive a suitability metric based on a mathematical model of HLB transmission between tree hosts and its vector Diaphorina citri , and incorporate the effect of temperature on vector traits using data from laboratory experiments performed at different temperatures. We validate the model using data on the historical range of HLB. Our model predicts that transmission of HLB is possible between 16° C and 33° C with peak transmission at ~ 25° C. The greatest uncertainty in our suitability metric is associated with the mortality of the vectors at peak transmission, and fecundity at the edges of the thermal range, indicating that these parameters need further experimental work. We produce global thermal niche maps b...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Case-Control Studies
Citrus plant
Disease Vectors
Genetic Vectors
Plant Diseases
Trees (plant)
Crops, Agricultural
Disease Transmission

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