Potential global distribution of Diabrotica species and the risks for agricultural production.
BACKGROUND: Despite efforts in the last few decades to prevent biological invasions, agricultural pests continue to spread as a result of globalization and international trade. This study was conducted to identify suitable areas for the occurrence of four Diabrotica species and to assess the potential impact of these species in a scenario of invasion followed by spread throughout the estimated suitable regions. RESULTS: Our findings reveal that a large proportion of the suitable areas for Diabrotica species overlap with cultivated areas. Niche analyses also demonstrated that these species occupy a small proportion of the suitable habitats available to them, indicating that, if new areas are invaded, there is a risk of spread throughout adjacent regions. CONCLUSION: Most of the suitable areas for Diabrotica species overlap with highly productive agricultural areas, suggesting that a potential spread of these species may cause economic loss. Our study provides a valuable contribution to the development of tools aiming to predict the potential spread of these species throughout the world.