Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/13/2014
Publication Date: 5/30/2014
Citation: Kumar, S., Neven, L.G., Yee, W.L. 2014. Assessing the potential for establishment of western cherry fruit fly using ecological niche modeling. Journal of Economic Entomology. 107(3):1032-1044.
Interpretive Summary: Western cherry fruit fly is an important pest of sweet cherries in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and is the subject of quarantine restrictions to exported sweet. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory and the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University determined the potential of western cherry fruit fly in sweet cherries to complete development and establishment under environmental conditions in eight tropical countries. They found that there was no potential for establishment of R. indifferens in Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam do to unsuitable climate conditions and lack of host species. This information may be used to make scientifically informed international trade decisions and negotiations by policy makers to facilitate exports of sweet cherries from the Pacific Northwest.
Technical Abstract: Sweet cherries, Prunus avium (L.) L., grown in the western United States are exported to many countries around the world. Some of these countries have enforced strict quarantine rules and trade restrictions due to concerns about the potential establishment and subsequent spread of western cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis indifferens Curran (Diptera: Tephritidae), a major quarantine pest of sweet cherry. We used (i) niche models (CLIMEX and MaxEnt) to map the climatic suitability, (ii) NAPPFAST to examine chilling requirement, and (iii) host distribution and availability to assess the potential for establishment of R. indifferens in areas of western North America where it currently does not exist and eight current or potential fresh sweet cherry markets: Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Results from niche models conformed well to the current distribution of R. indifferens in western North America. MaxEnt and CLIMEX models had high performance and predicted climatic suitability in some of the countries (e.g., Andean range in Colombia and Venezuela, northern and northeastern India, central Taiwan, and parts of Vietnam). However, our results showed no potential for establishment of R. indifferens in Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam when the optimal chilling requirement to break diapause (minimum temperature =3°C for at least 15 weeks) was used as the criterion for whether establishment can occur. Furthermore these countries have no host plant species available for R. indifferens. Our results can be used to make scientifically informed international trade decisions and negotiations by policy makers.