Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Potential impacts of climate change on habitat suitability for the Queensland fruit fly.

Abstract

Anthropogenic climate change is a major factor driving shifts in the distributions of pests and invasive species. The Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Qfly), is the most economically damaging insect pest of Australia's horticultural industry, and its management is a key priority for plant protection and biosecurity. Identifying the extent to which climate change may alter the distribution of suitable habitat for Qfly is important for the development and continuation of effective monitoring programs, phytosanitary measures, and management strategies. We used Maxent, a species distribution model, to map suitable habitat for Qfly under current climate, and six climate scenarios for 2030, 2050 and 2070. Our results highlight that south-western Australia, northern regions of the Northern Territory, eastern Queensland, and much of south-eastern Australia are currently suitable for Qfly. This includes southern Victoria and eastern Tasmania, which are currently free of breeding populations. There is substantial agreement across future climate scenarios that most areas currently suitable will remain so until at least 2070. Our projections provide an initial estimate of the potential exposure of Australia's horticultural industry to Qfly as climate changes, highlighting the need for long-term vigilance across southern Australia to prevent further range expansion of this species.