How far could the alien boatman Trichocorixa verticalis verticalis spread? Worldwide estimation of its current and future potential distribution

Guareschi, Simone, Coccia, Cristina, Sánchez-Fernández, David, Carbonell, José Antonio, Velasco, Josefa, Boyero, Luz, Green, Andy J., and Millán, Andrés (2013) How far could the alien boatman Trichocorixa verticalis verticalis spread? Worldwide estimation of its current and future potential distribution. PLoS ONE, 8 (3). e59757. pp. 1-8.

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Abstract

Invasions of alien species are considered among the least reversible human impacts, with diversified effects on aquatic ecosystems. Since prevention is the most cost-effective way to avoid biodiversity loss and ecosystem problems, one challenge in ecological research is to understand the limits of the fundamental niche of the species in order to estimate how far invasive species could spread. Trichocorixa verticalis verticalis (Tvv) is a corixid (Hemiptera) originally distributed in North America, but cited as an alien species in three continents. Its impact on native communities is under study, but it is already the dominant species in several saline wetlands and represents a rare example of an aquatic alien insect. This study aims: i) to estimate areas with suitable environmental conditions for Tvv at a global scale, thus identifying potential new zones of invasion; and ii) to test possible changes in this global potential distribution under a climate change scenario. Potential distributions were estimated by applying a multidimensional envelope procedure based on both climatic data, obtained from observed occurrences, and thermal physiological data. Our results suggest Tvv may expand well beyond its current range and find inhabitable conditions in temperate areas along a wide range of latitudes, with an emphasis on coastal areas of Europe, Northern Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand, Myanmar, India, the western boundary between USA and Canada, and areas of the Arabian Peninsula. When considering a future climatic scenario, the suitability area of Tvv showed only limited changes compared with the current potential distribution. These results allow detection of potential contact zones among currently colonized areas and potential areas of invasion. We also identified zones with a high level of suitability that overlap with areas recognized as global hotspots of biodiversity. Finally, we present hypotheses about possible means of spread, focusing on different geographical scales.

Item ID: 28310
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

© 2013 Guareschi et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, Spanish Ministry of the Environment (MIMAN), Consejería de Innovación, Ciencia y Empresa (CICE)
Projects and Grants: MIMAN "Atlas y libro rojo de los coleópteros acuáticos de España peninsular", CICE "Estructura y dinámica de meta-comunidades de macroinvertebrados en humedales temporales y el papel de la especie invasora Trichocorixa verticalis (P10- RNM-6262)"
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2013 05:28
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960402 Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 30%
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