BACKGROUND: Neoleucinodes elegantalis is one of the major insect pests of Solanum lycopersicum. Currently, N. elegantalis is present only in America and the Caribbean, and is a threat in the world's largest S. lycopersicum-producing countries. In terms of potential impact on agriculture, the impact of climate change on insect invasions must be a concern. At present, no research exists regarding the effects of climatic change on the risk level of N. elegantalis. The purpose of this study was to develop a model for S. lycopersicum and N. elegantalis, utilizing CLIMEX to determine risk levels of N. elegantalis in open-field S. lycopersicum cultivation in the present and under projected climate change, using the global climate model CSIRO-Mk3.0. RESULTS: Large areas are projected to be suitable for N. elegantalis and optimal for open-field S. lycopersicum cultivation at the present time. However, in the future these areas will become unsuitable for both species. Conversely, other regions in the future may become optimal for open-field S. lycopersicum cultivation, with a varying risk level for N. elegantalis. CONCLUSION: The risk level results presented here provide a useful tool to design strategies to prevent the introduction and establishment of N. elegantalis in open-field S. lycopersicum cultivation.
- climate change
- invasive species