Evidence that recent climatic changes have expanded the potential geographical range of the Mediterranean fruit fly


The species distributions migration poleward and into higher altitudes in a warming climate is especially concerning for economically important insect pest species, as their introduction can potentially occur in places previously considered unsuitable for year-round survival. We explore the expansion of the climatically suitable areas for a horticultural pest, the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) Ceratitis capitata (Diptera, Tephritidae), with an emphasis on Europe and California. We reviewed and refined a published CLIMEX model for C. capitata, taking into consideration new records in marginal locations, with a particular focus on Europe. To assess the model fit and to aid in interpreting the meaning of the new European distribution records, we used a time series climate dataset to explore the temporal patterns of climate suitability for C. capitata from 1970 to 2019. At selected bellwether sites in Europe, we found statistically significant trends in increasing climate suitability, as well as a substantial northward expansion in the modelled potential range. In California, we also found a significant trend of northward and altitudinal expansion of areas suitable for C. capitata establishment. These results provide further evidence of climate change impacts on species distributions and the need for innovative responses to increased invasion threats.

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Anna M. Szyniszewska 1,2 , Hanna Bieszczak 2 , Karol Kozyra 2 , Nikos T. Papadopoulos 3 ,
Marc De Meyer 4 , Jakub Nowosad 5 , Noboru Ota 6 & Darren J. Kriticos 7,8



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