Bioclimatic modelling identifies suitable habitat for the establishment of the invasive european paper wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) across the southern hemisphere
journal contributionposted on 2021-11-02, 20:43 authored by MWF Howse, John HaywoodJohn Haywood, Philip LesterPhilip Lester
Species distribution models (SDMs) are tools used by ecologists to help predict the spread of invasive species. Information provided by these models can help direct conservation and biosecurity efforts by highlighting areas likely to contain species of interest. In this study, two models were created to investigate the potential range expansion of Polistes dominula Christ (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in the southern hemisphere. This palearctic species has spread to invade North and South America, South Africa, Australia, and more recently New Zealand. Using the BIOCLIM and MAXENT modelling methods, regions that were suitable for P. dominula were identified based on climate data across four regions in the southern hemisphere. In South America areas of central Chile, eastern Argentina, parts of Uruguay, and southern Brazil were identified as climatically suitable for the establishment of P. dominula. Similarly, southern parts of South Africa and Australia were identified by the model to be suitable as well as much of the North Island and east of the South Island of New Zealand. Based on outputs from both models, significant range expansion by P. dominula is possible across its more southern invaded ranges.