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Improving climate suitability for Bemisia tabaci in East Africa is correlated with increased prevalence of whiteflies and cassava diseases

Improving climate suitability for Bemisia tabaci in East Africa is correlated with increased prevalence of whiteflies and cassava diseases

Kriticos, Darren J., Darnell, Ross E., Yonow, Tania, Ota, Noboru, Sutherst, Robert W., Parry, Hazel R., Mugerwa, Habibu, Maruthi, M N. ORCID: 0000-0002-8060-866X, Seal, Susan E. ORCID: 0000-0002-3952-1562, Colvin, John, Macfadyen, Sarina, Kalyebi, Andrew, Hulthen, Andrew and De Barro, Paul J. (2020) Improving climate suitability for Bemisia tabaci in East Africa is correlated with increased prevalence of whiteflies and cassava diseases. Scientific reports, 10 (1):22049. ISSN 2045-2322 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-79149-6)

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Abstract

Projected climate changes are thought to promote emerging infectious diseases, though to date, evidence linking climate changes and such diseases in plants has not been available. Cassava is perhaps the most important crop in Africa for smallholder farmers. Since the late 1990's there have been reports from East and Central Africa of pandemics of begomoviruses in cassava linked to high abundances of whitefly species within the Bemisia tabaci complex. We used CLIMEX, a process-oriented climatic niche model, to explore if this pandemic was linked to recent historical climatic changes. The climatic niche model was corroborated with independent observed field abundance of B. tabaci in Uganda over a 13-year time-series, and with the probability of occurrence of B. tabaci over 2 years across the African study area. Throughout a 39-year climate time-series spanning the period during which the pandemics emerged, the modelled climatic conditions for B. tabaci improved significantly in the areas where the pandemics had been reported and were constant or decreased elsewhere. This is the first reported case where observed historical climate changes have been attributed to the increase in abundance of an insect pest, contributing to a crop disease pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agroecology, Climate-change ecology, Ecological epidemiology, Ecological modelling, Entomology, Invasive species, Population dynamics
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2021 22:47
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/30735

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