Research Article: Niche shifts and the potential distribution of Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) under climate change

Date Published: July 10, 2017

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Jiufeng Wei, Hufang Zhang, Wanqing Zhao, Qing Zhao, Yulin Gao.


The cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), is a serious invasive species that significantly damages plants of approximately 60 families around the world. It is originally from North America and has also been introduced to other continents. Our goals were to create a current and future potential global distribution map for this pest under climate change with MaxEnt software. We tested the hypothesis of niche conservatism for P. solenopsis by comparing its native niche in North America to its invasive niches on other continents using Principal components analyses (PCA) in R. The potentially suitable habitat for P. solenopsis in its native and non-native ranges is presented in the present paper. The results suggested that the mean temperature of the wettest quarter and the mean temperature of the driest quarter are the most important environmental variables determining the potential distribution of P. solenopsis. We found strong evidence for niche shifts in the realized climatic niche of this pest in South America and Australia due to niche unfilling; however, a niche shift in the realized climatic niche of this pest in Eurasian owing to niche expansion.

Partial Text

With rapidly increasing global trade and human movement, the rate of introductions has remarkable accelerated around the world [1]. Climate change is another important factor that affects the expansion of invasive species [2–3]. Considerable evidence suggests that climate change will aggravate the impacts of invasive species naturalization and subsequent invasion across communities and ecosystems in their new ranges, thereby resulting in threats to the biodiversity of native species [4–5] and the degradation of ecosystem [6], casuging significant economic losses [7–8].




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