Selecting Biological Meaningful Environmental Dimensions of Low Discrepancy among Ranges to Predict Potential Distribution of Bean Plataspid Invasion

Gengping Zhu, Matthew J. Petersen, Wenjun Bu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The Bean plataspid (Megacopta cribraria) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), native to Asia, is becoming an invasive species in North America; its potential spread to soybean producing areas in the US is of great concern. Ecological niche modelling (ENM) has been used increasingly in predicting invasive species' potential distribution; however, poor niche model transferability was sometimes reported, leading to the artifactual conclusion of niche differentiation during species' invasion. Methodology/Principals: We aim to improve the geographical transferability of ENM via environmental variable selection to predict the potential distribution of Bean plataspid invasion. Sixteen environmental dimensions between native and introduced Bean plataspid populations were compared, and classified into two datasets with different degrees of discrepancy by the interquartile range (IQR) overlap in boxplot. Niche models based on these two datasets were compared in native model prediction and invading model projection. Classical niche model approaches (i.e., model calibrated on native range and transferred outside) were used to anticipate the potential distribution of Bean plataspid invasion. Conclusions/Significance: Niche models based on the two datasets showed little difference in native model predictions; however, when projecting onto the introduced area, models based on the environmental datasets showing low discrepancy among ranges recovered good model transferability in predicting the newly established population of Bean plataspid in the US. Recommendations were made for selecting biological meaningful environmental dimensions of low discrepancy among ranges to improve niche model transferability among these geographically separated areas. Outside of its native range, areas with invasion potential include the southeastern US in North America, southwestern Europe, southeastern South America, southern Africa, and the eastern coastal Australia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere46247
JournalPloS one
Volume7
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 25 2012
Externally publishedYes

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