Assessing the potential distribution of Asian gypsy moth in Canada: a comparison of two methodological approaches.
Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) is one of the world's worst hardwood defoliating invasive alien species. It is currently spreading across North America, damaging forest ecosystems and posing a significant economic threat. Two subspecies L. d. asiatica and L. d. japonica, collectively referred to as Asian gypsy moth (AGM) are of special concern as they have traits that make them better invaders than their European counterpart (e.g. flight capability of females). We assessed the potential distribution of AGM in Canada using two presence-only species distribution models, Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) and Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP). In addition, we mapped AGM potential future distribution under two climate change scenarios (A1B and A2) while implementing dispersal constraints using the cellular automation model MigClim. MaxEnt had higher AUC, pAUC and sensitivity scores (0.82/1.40/1.00) when compared to GARP (0.70/1.26/0.9), indicating better discrimination of suitable versus unsuitable areas for AGM. The models indicated that suitable conditions for AGM were present in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The human influence index was the variable found to contribute the most in predicting the distribution of AGM. These model results can be used to identify areas at risk for this pest, to inform strategic and tactical pest management decisions.