Modelling climate suitability for Striga asiatica, a potential invasive weed of cereal crops

Fausto Henrique Vieira Araújo, Alexandre Ferreira da Silva, Rodrigo Soares Ramos, Sabrina Rodrigues Ferreira, Jose Barbosa dos Santos, Ricardo Siqueira da Silva, Farzin Shabani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze (Lamiales: Orobanchaceae), a hemi-parasitic plant native to sub-Saharan Africa and tropical Asia, is particularly problematic to rice, corn, and sorghum cultivation in Africa. Striga asiatica produces a large number of small sized (<0.5 mm) seeds, thereby facilitating easy dispersion by commercial exchange of contaminated grains. The distribution of this species in Africa is regulated by climate, which is the main factor determining local suitability. Modelling is a useful tool to analyse climate suitability for species. This study aimed to determine the areas more vulnerable to S. asiatica invasion both in the present and under the projected climate change model using two methods: MaxEnt (as a correlative approach) and CLIMEX (as a semi-mechanistic approach). The MIROC-H Global Climate Model and the A2 and RCP 8.5 scenarios (the most pessimistic one) were used. Our projections indicated areas suitable for S. asiatica invasion in all continents under both present and projected climate change, with high suitability areas in South America, Africa, and Europe. We found agreement and disagreement between CLIMEX and MaxEnt outputs and the extent of disagreement on the increases in climate suitability by 2050 and 2100 in North America, Europe, and eastern, southern, and western Australia. This study provides a useful tool to design strategies aimed at preventing the introduction and establishment of S. asiatica in South America, with considerable agreement between CLIMEX and MaxEnt outputs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106050
Number of pages8
JournalCrop Protection
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Climate change
  • Ecological niche modelling
  • Invasive alien species


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