Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Potential range expansion and niche shift of the invasive Hyphantria cunea between native and invasive countries.

Abstract

1. Hyphantria cunea is a problematic invasive species that has caused considerable damage to agricultural and forestry ecosystems in China. 2. We compared 19 bioclimate variables between its native country (the United States of America) and China to elucidate the environmental factors associated with its presence. Using present climate data (1970-2000) and projected future climate data (2050 and 2070) based on two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs 2.6 and 8.5), we used MaxEnt to predict the suitable habitat areas for H. cunea in the USA and China. Using these analyses, we predicted the niche change of H. cunea in China using the 'ecospat' package in R. 3. Our model predicts that climate change will generally increase the extent of suitable habitat in both China and the USA, although low latitude areas will be limited by future climate change. We also report low niche overlap between the USA and Chinese populations of H. cuena and significant differences in bioclimate variables associate with its presence in each country. Therefore, our results suggest H. cunea has adapted to several climatic conditions in China. This indicates the niche of H. cunea may shift and adapt to novel environmental conditions over the course of its spread. 4. Overall, the analysis of the environmental characteristics, niche changes, and suitable areas of H. cunea provides a basis for pest control and management strategies aimed at preventing further spread. Our methods may also be used to study other similar invasive species.