Location: Range Management ResearchTitle: Predicting the geographic range of an invasive livestock disease across the contiguous USA under current and future climate conditions
|BURRUS, DYLAN - New Mexico State University|
|GEIL, KERRIE - Orise Fellow|
Submitted to: Climate
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/23/2021
Publication Date: 10/29/2021
Citation: Burrus, D.N., Rodriguez, L.L., Drolet, B.S., Geil, K., Cohnstaedt, L.W., Derner, J.D., Peters, D.C. 2021. Predicting the geographic range of an invasive livestock disease across the contiguous USA under current and future climate conditions. Climate. 9(11):159. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9110159.
Interpretive Summary: Changes in climate, land use, and land cover are primary contributors to the expansion of vector-borne diseases at regional and continental scales. Disentangling how different environmental factors affect vector-borne disease occurrence at local scales can inform the spread of disease at broad spatial extents. Multidisciplinary approaches that integrate process-based information from multiple scales can improve understanding of these factors related to long-term occurrence patterns and offer insight into how the geographic distribution may change in the future. We evaluated the environmental drivers of the geographic distribution of the vector-borne disease, vesicular stomatitis (VS), and predicted shifts in this distribution as a consequence of changes in climate using an objective analysis of output from multiple global climate models. Our findings suggests that the heterogeneous impacts of climate change across the CONUS will be intensified as they coincide with changes in land use and land cover that affect biodiversity and hydrological cycles tied to the ecology of insect vectors involved in VS transmission. These models also provide an evidence-based product that enables prediction of the geographic distribution of VS infections that can be used to guide research and mitigation efforts.
Technical Abstract: Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is the most common vesicular livestock disease in North America. Transmitted by direct contact and by several biting insect species, this disease in horses, cattle and swine results in quarantines and animal movement restrictions. As changes in climate drive shifts in geographic distributions of vectors and the viruses they transmit, there is considerable need to improve understanding of relationships among environmental drivers and patterns of disease occurrence. Multidisciplinary approaches integrating pathology, ecology, climatology, and biogeophysics are increasingly relied upon to disentangle complex relationships governing disease. We used a big data model integration approach combined with machine learning to estimate the geographic range of VS across the continental United States (CONUS) under current climate conditions and then forecasted shifts in the range of VS for climate change scenarios. The current extent of VS is confined to the western portion of the US and is driven by summer and winter precipitation, winter maximum temperature, elevation, fall vegetation biomass, horse density, and proximity to rivers. Climate change scenarios had non-uniform impacts for predicted VS occurrence. We expect that the heterogeneous impacts of climate change across the CONUS will be exacerbated with additional changes in land use and land cover affecting biodiversity and hydrological cycles that are connected to the ecology of insect vectors involved in VS transmission.