Suitable areas for invasive insect pests in Brazil and the potential impacts for eucalyptus forestry.
Background: Brazil is among the world's largest producers of eucalyptus and the damage caused by native and invasive insect pests is one of the main factors affecting eucalyptus yield. The recent history of biological invasions of eucalyptus pests in Brazil prompts demand for phytosanitary measures to prevent new invasions. This study used ecological niche models to estimate suitable areas for nine eucalyptus pests. This information was used to assess the potential ports of entry, generate invasion risk maps considering the likelihood of introducing invasive species, and estimate the eucalyptus producing municipalities and areas within the species' suitable range. Results: A large distribution range was predicted for Eucalyptolyma maideni (Hempitera: Aphalaridae), Orgya postica (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), Sinoxylon anale (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae), and Trachymela sloanei (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in Brazil, while a comparatively smaller distribution was predicted for Ophelimus maskelli (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), Mnesampela privata (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), Paropsis atomaria (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), Paropsisterna beata, and P. cloelia (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). High-risk areas of invasion near airports and seaports were predicted mainly in southern, southeastern, and northeastern Brazil. A large proportion of the municipalities (24.4% to 93.7%) and areas with eucalyptus plantations (31.9% to 98.3%) are within the climatically suitable areas estimated for the pests, especially in southern and southeastern regions, which comprises 61.5% of the Brazilian eucalyptus production. Conclusion: The results indicate that eucalyptus forestry may be significantly impacted by biological invasion. The findings provided by our study can assist decision-makers in developing phytosanitary measures to prevent new invasions of forest pests in Brazil.