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Distribution of cryptic blue oat mite species in Australia: current and future climate conditions

Authors

  • Matthew P. Hill,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia
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  • Ary A. Hoffmann,

    1. Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia
    2. Department of Genetics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia
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  • Stuart A. McColl,

    1. Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia
    2. CESAR Consultants, 293 Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
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  • Paul A. Umina

    1. Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia
    2. CESAR Consultants, 293 Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
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Matthew P. Hill. Tel.: +61 3 8344 2491; fax: +61 3 8344 2279; e-mail: m.hill2@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

  • 1Invertebrate pests, such as blue oat mites Penthaleus spp., cause significant economic damage to agricultural crops in Australia. Climate is a major driver of invertebrate species distributions and climate change is expected to shift pest assemblages and pest prevalence across Australia. At this stage, little is known of how individual species will respond to climate change.
  • 2We have mapped the current distribution for each of the three pest Penthaleus spp. in Australia and built ecological niche models for each species using the correlative modelling software, maxent. Predictor variables useful for describing the climate space of each species were determined and the models were projected into a range of future climate change scenarios to assess how climate change may alter species-specific distribution patterns in Australia.
  • 3The distributions of the three cryptic Penthaleus spp. are best described with different sets of climatic variables. Suitable climate space for all species decreases under the climate change scenarios investigated in the present study. The models also indicate that the assemblage of Penthaleus spp. is likely to change across Australia, particularly in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria.
  • 4These results show the distributions of the three Penthaleus spp. are correlated with different climatic variables, and that regional control of mite pests is likely to change in the future. A further understanding of ecological and physiological processes that may influence the distribution and pest status of mites is required.

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