Variation in the potential distribution of Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel) globally and in Pakistan under current and future climatic conditions

Hayat U., Qin H., Zhao J., Akram M., Shi J., Ya Z. (2021): Variation in the potential distribution of Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel) globally and in Pakistan under current and future climatic conditions. Plant Protect. Sci., 57: 148–158.

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Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a polyphagous moth species that mainly damages various crops and ornamental plants. This widely distributed pest is particularly a nuisance in Pakistan where it damages many crops, e.g., wheat and vegetables. To assess the risk of damage by this moth, we used the CLIMEX model to predict the distribution of A. ipsilon under current and future climatic conditions. Using the literature data, we collected information on the biology and ecology of A. ipsilon relevant for modelling the distribution of this species in Pakistan and worldwide under current and future climatic conditions. Our results revealed that under future climatic scenarios, the highly favourable habitat area of A. ipsilon (ecoclimatic index EI > 30) would decrease globally from 19% at present to 14% in the future, and the moderately favourable habitat area (0 < EI ≤ 15) would increase from 21 to 29%. We found that the northern areas of Pakistan will become highly suitable for the establishment of A. ipsilon. Under the current climatic conditions, the optimal habitats of A. ipsilon (EI > 30) comprised 10% and moderately favourable habitats (EI < 17) accounted for 25% of the total land area in Pakistan. Under future climatic scenarios, the optimal habitat area of the moth in Pakistan could decrease to 5% and the moderately favourable habitat area could cover 63% of the entire land area. The results can be applied in the protection of various crops and ornamental plants against A. ipsilon in Pakistan as well as worldwide.

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