Global geographic distribution of Tuta absoluta as affected by climate change

  • P. A. SantanaJr.Email author
  • L. Kumar
  • R. S. Da Silva
  • M. C. Picanço
Original Paper


Over the last 10 years, the insect Tuta absoluta has become one of the most important threats to agriculture worldwide. Since its introduction in Spain in 2006, this pest has infested 60% of the tomato crops in many regions of the world. Here we present the geographic distribution of T. absoluta at a global scale. Through the combination of spatial distribution models and the current distribution of the pest, this research makes projections of the threatened regions for this insect at the present and future times. We modelled the pest’s potential distribution based on its new thermal requirement and the stress factors which limit this pest in Brazil. The model presented here showed large suitable areas for the tomato pinworm in the North and Central Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania for the current and future times. Important tomato producers such as China, Mexico and the USA should be concerned about the risk of an eventual invasion of T. absoluta due to their climatic suitability for this pest. The climate changes predicted will affect T. absoluta negatively around the equator and positively near the poles. Regions with high latitude, for example the USA and northern Europe, will become more suitable for the tomato pinworm due to the increase in temperature due to climate change. This study provides a comprehensive and current CLIMEX modelling effort for T. absoluta, allowing pest management agencies to increase their vigilance and improve quarantine measures.


CLIMEX Ecosystem modelling Tomato pinworm Ecological niche model Invasive alien species 



This research was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq), the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001, the Minas Gerais State Foundation for Research Aid (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais—FAPEMIG) and the School of Environmental and Rural Science of the University of New England (UNE), Armidale, Australia. The simulations were carried out using computational facilities at UNE.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10340_2018_1057_MOESM1_ESM.docx (105 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 104 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de FitotecniaUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural ScienceUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  3. 3.Departamento de EntomologiaUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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