Horizon scanning to assess the bioclimatic potential for the alien species Spodoptera eridania and its parasitoids after pest detection in West and Central Africa
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonPest Management Science. 2021, 77 (10), 4437-4446. 10.1002/ps.6478
BACKGROUND The southern armyworm (SAW) Spodoptera eridania (Stoll) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is native to the tropical Americas where the pest can feed on more than 100 plant species. SAW was recently detected in West and Central Africa, feeding on various crops including cassava, cotton, amaranth and tomato. The current work was carried out to predict the potential spatial distribution of SAW and four of its co-evolved parasitoids at a global scale using the maximum entropy (Maxent) algorithm. RESULTS SAW may not be a huge problem outside its native range (the Americas) for the time being, but may compromise crop yields in specific hotspots in coming years. The analysis of its potential distribution anticipates that the pest might easily migrate east and south from Cameroon and Gabon. CONCLUSION The models used generally demonstrate that all the parasitoids considered are good candidates for the biological control of SAW globally, except they will not be able to establish in specific climates. The current paper discusses the potential role of biological control using parasitoids as a crucial component of a durable climate-smart integrated management of SAW to support decision making in Africa and in other regions of bioclimatic suitability.