Assessing the impact of climate change on the worldwide distribution of Dalbulus maidis (DeLong) using MaxEnt.
BACKGROUND: For the first time, a model was applied at the global scale to investigate the effects of climate change on Dalbulus maidis. D. maidis is the main vector of three plant pathogens of maize crops and has been reported as one of the most important maize pests in Latin America. We modelled the effects of climate change on this pest using three Global Climate Models under two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) using MaxEnt software. RESULTS: Overall, climate change will lead to a decrease in suitable areas for D. maidis. In South America, climate change will decrease the areas suitable for the pest, especially in Brazil. However, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela will have small areas that are highly suitable for the corn leafhopper. Outside the pest's range, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa also should be concerned about the risk of corn leafhopper invasions in the future because they are projected to have conditions that are highly suitable for this insect in some areas. CONCLUSION: This study allows the relevant countries to increase their quarantine measures and guide researchers to develop new Zea mays varieties that are resistant or tolerant to D. maidis. In addition, the maize-stunting pathogens for the areas are highlighted in this modelling.