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Modelling the potential global distribution of suitable habitat for the biological control agent Heterorhabditis indica

Kour, Sumeet and Khurma, Uma R. and Brodie, Gilianne D. and Singh, Sunil K. (2022) Modelling the potential global distribution of suitable habitat for the biological control agent Heterorhabditis indica. Ecology and Evolution, 12 (6). NA. ISSN 2045-7758

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Entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) Heterorhabditis indica is a promising biocontrol candidate. Despite the acknowledged importance of EPN in pest control, no extensive data sets or maps have been developed on their distribution at global level. This study is the first attempt to generate Ecological Niche Models (ENM) for H. indica and its global Habitat Suitability Map (HSM) for H. indica to generate biogeographical information and predicts its global geographical range and help identify of prospective areas for its exploration and to help identify the suitable release areas for biocontrol purpose. The aim of the modeling exercise was to access the influence of temperature and soil moisture on the biogeographical patterns of H. indica at the global level. Global Heterorhabditis indica ecosystems. CLIMEX software was used to model the distribution of H. indica and assess the influence of environmental variable on its global distribution. In total, 162 records of H. indica occurrence from 27 countries over 25 years were combined to generate the known distribution data. The model was further fine-tuned using the direct experimental observations of the H. indica's growth response to temperature and soil moisture. Model predicts that much of the tropics and subtropics have suitable climatic conditions for H. indica. It further predicts that H. indica distribution can extend into warmer temperate climates. Examination of the model output, predictions maps at a global level indicate that H. indica distribution may be limited by cold stress, heat stress, and dry stresses in different areas. However, cold stress appears to be the major limiting factor. This study highlighted an efficient way to construct HSM for EPN potentially useful in the search/release of target species in new locations. The study showed that H. indica which is known as warm adapted EPN generally found in tropics and subtropics can potentially establish itself in warmer temperate climates as well. The model can also be used to decide the release timing of EPN by adjusting with season for maximum growth. The model developed in this study clearly identified the value and potential of Habitat Suitability Map (HSM) in planning of future surveys and application of H. indica.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General) > Q1-390 Science (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS)
School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE)
Depositing User: Gilianne Brodie
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2022 23:06
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2022 23:29

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