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Title: Thermal niches of two invasive genotypes of the wheat curl mite Aceria tosichella (Acari: Eriophyidae): congruence between physiological and geographical distribution data

item KUCZYNSKI, LECHOSLAW - Adam Mickiewicz University
item Rector, Brian
item KIEDTOWICZ, AGNIESZKA - Adam Mickiewicz University
item LEWANDOWSKI, MARIUSZ - Warsaw University Of Life Sciences
item SZYDIO, WIKTORIA - Adam Mickiewicz University
item SKORACKA, ANNA - Adam Mickiewicz University

Submitted to: PLOS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2016
Publication Date: 4/21/2016
Citation: Kuczynski, L., Rector, B.G., Kiedtowicz, A., Lewandowski, M., Szydio, W., Skoracka, A. 2016. Thermal niches of two invasive genotypes of the wheat curl mite Aceria tosichella (Acari: Eriophyidae): congruence between physiological and geographical distribution data. PLoS One. 11(4):e0154600.

Interpretive Summary: The wheat curl mite (WCM) is a global pest of cereal crops. Recently, several strains of WCM were discovered that differ from each other genetically as well as behaviorally, having different host ranges (i.e. some highly specific to particular wild grass hosts and others feeding on many different host plants). This new information has profound implications for the management of the pest strains of WCM. The purpose of this study was to determine whether two of these pest strains, designated MT-1 and MT-8, differ for their optimal temperature of development and reproduction. Mites of both strains were reared at a wide range of temperatures in the laboratory. The resulting data were compared to weather station data across the land area of Poland to determine the optimal regions for WCM development in Poland. These data were, in turn, compared to WCM field collections data from across the entire land area of Poland. The results showed that the presence of both WCM strains was well predicted by the optimal temperature data, while abundance of the MT-8 strain was better predicted by the temperature data than the abundance of the MT-1 strain. This study provides an important, field-verified model that will improve the ability of scientists to predict how arthropod species distributions may change under changing climatic conditions.

Technical Abstract: The wheat curl mite (WCM; Aceria tosichella) is a major pest of cereals worldwide. It is also a complex of well-defined genetic lineages with divergent physiological traits, which has not been accounted for in applied contexts. The aims of the study were to model the thermal niches of the two most pestiferous WCM lineages, designated MT-1 and MT-8, and to assess the extent to which temperature determines the distribution of these lineages. WCM population dynamics were modeled based on thermal niche data from March to November on the area of Poland (>300,000 km2). The most suitable regions for population development were predicted and compared to empirical field abundance data. Congruence between modeled parameters and field data for mite presence were observed for both WCM lineages although congruence between modeled thermal suitability and mite field abundance was observed only for MT-8. Thermal niche data for MT-1 and MT-8 provide biological insights and aid monitoring and management of WCM and the plant viruses it vectors. The presented models accurately estimate distributions of WCM and can be incorporated into management strategies for both current and predicted climate scenarios. The models should also be adaptable to many other eriophyoid pests.