Potential European Geographical Distribution of Gnathotrichus materiarius (Fitch, 1858) (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) under Current and Future Climate Conditions

Witkowski R., Dyderski M.K., Bełka M., Mazur A. (2022). Potential European Geographical Distribution of Gnathotrichus materiarius (Fitch, 1858) (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) under Current and Future Climate Conditions. Forests13(7), 1097.

 Gnathotrichus materiarius (Fitch, 1858) is an alien ambrosia beetle from North America, that has been spreading across Europe since the 1930s. The species infests coniferous trees, excavating galleries in sapwood. However, to date very few studies have predicted changes in ambrosia beetle habitat suitability under changing climate conditions. To fill that gap in the current knowledge, we used the MaxEnt algorithm to estimate areas potentially suitable for this species in Europe, both under current climate conditions and those forecasted for the years 2050 and 2070. Our analyses showed areas where the species has not been reported, though the climatic conditions are suitable. Models for the forecasted conditions predicted an increase in suitable habitats. Due to the wide range of host trees, the species is likely to spread through the Balkans, the Black Sea and Caucasus region, Baltic countries, the Scandinavian Peninsula, and Ukraine. As a technical pest of coniferous sapwood, it can cause financial losses due to deterioration in quality of timber harvested in such regions. Our results will be helpful for the development of a climate-change-integrated management strategy to mitigate potential adverse effects.

Keywords: ambrosia beetle; bark beetle; MaxEnt; insect pest; alien species; niche modelling; biological invasions

https://doi.org/10.3390/f13071097