Climate model for seasonal variation in Bemisia tabaci using CLIMEX in tomato crops
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The whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, is considered one of the most important pests for tomato Solanum lycopersicum. The population density of this pest varies throughout the year in response to seasonal variation. Studies of seasonality are important to understand the ecological dynamics and insect population in crops and help to identify which seasons have the best climatic conditions for the growth and development of this insect species. In this research, we used CLIMEX to estimate the seasonal abundance of a species in relation to climate over time and species geographical distribution. Therefore, this research is designed to infer the mechanisms affecting population processes, rather than simply provide an empirical description of field observations based on matching patterns of meteorological data. In this research, we identified monthly suitability for Bemisia tabaci, with the climate models, for 12 commercial tomato crop locations through CLIMEX (version 4.0). We observed that B. tabaci displays seasonality with increased abundance in tomato crops during March, April, May, June, October and November (first year) and during March, April, May, September and October (second year) in all monitored areas. During this period, our model demonstrated a strong agreement between B. tabaci density and CLIMEX weekly growth index (GIw), which indicates significant reliability of our model results. Our results may be useful to design sampling and control strategies, in periods and locations when there is high suitability for B. tabaci.
KeywordsSeasonality Whiteflies Modelling CLIMEX
The simulations were carried out using the computational facilities at UNE. Mr. Phillip John Villani (B.A. from the University of Melbourne, Australia) revised and corrected the English language used in this manuscript.
RSR, RSS and MCP conceived of and designed the research. TAA, RSS and RSR contributed to conducting the experiments and acquiring the data. RSR analysed the data and wrote the manuscript with support from LK. LK and FS made the critical revisions (providing language help and writing assistance). LK and MCP made the critical revisions and approved the final version. All authors reviewed and approved the final manuscript.
This research was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)) and financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) of Brazil (Finance Code 001), the Minas Gerais State Foundation for Research Aid (FAPEMIG) and the School of Environmental and Rural Science of the University of New England (UNE), Armidale, Australia.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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