Invasive potential of tropical fruit flies in temperate regions under climate change.
Tropical fruit flies are considered among the most economically important invasive species detected in temperate areas of the United States and the European Union. Detections often trigger quarantine and eradication programs that are conducted without a holistic understanding of the threat posed. Weather-driven physiologically-based demographic models are used to estimate the geographic range, relative abundance, and threat posed by four tropical tephritid fruit flies (Mediterranean fruit fly, melon fly, oriental fruit fly, and Mexican fruit fly) in North and Central America, and the European-Mediterranean region under extant and climate change weather (RCP8.5 and A1B scenarios). Most temperate areas under tropical fruit fly propagule pressure have not been suitable for establishment, but suitability is predicted to increase in some areas with climate change. To meet this ongoing challenge, investments are needed to collect sound biological data to develop mechanistic models to predict the geographic range and relative abundance of these and other invasive species, and to put eradication policies on a scientific basis.