The potential geographical distribution and phenology of Bemisia tabaci Middle East/Asia minor 1, considering irrigation and glasshouse production.
The Bemisia tabaci species complex is one of the most important pests of open field and protected cropping globally. Within this complex, one species (Middle East Asia Minor 1, B. tabaci MEAM1, formerly biotype B) has been especially problematic, invading widely and spreading a large variety of plant pathogens, and developing broad spectrum pesticide resistance. Here, we fit a CLIMEX model to the distribution records of B. tabaci MEAM1, using experimental observations to calibrate its temperature responses. In fitting the model, we consider the effects of irrigation and glasshouses in extending its potential range. The validated niche model estimates its potential distribution as being considerably broader than its present known distribution, especially in the Americas, Africa and Asia. The potential distribution of the fitted model encompasses the known distribution of B. tabaci sensu lato, highlighting the magnitude of the threat posed globally by this invasive pest species complex and the viruses it vectors to open field and protected agriculture.