|Fischer, D; Thomas, S M; Niemitz, F; Reineking, B; Beierkuhnlein, C: Projection of climatic suitability for Aedes albopictus Skuse (Culicidae) in Europe under climate change conditions, Global and Planetary Change, 78(1-2), 54-64 (2011)|
During the last decades the disease vector Aedes albopictus (Ae. albopictus) has rapidly spread around the globe. The spread of this species raises serious public health concerns. Here, we model the present distribution and the future climatic suitability of Europe for this vector in the face of climate change. In order to achieve the most realistic current prediction and future projection, we compare the performance of four different modelling approaches, differentiated by the selection of climate variables (based on expert knowledge vs. statistical criteria) and by the geographical range of presence records (native range vs. global range). First, models of the native and global range were built with MaxEnt and were either based on (1) statistically selected climatic input variables or (2) input variables selectedwith expert knowledge fromthe literature.Native models show high model performance (AUC: 0.91–0.94) for the native range, but do not predict the European distributionwell (AUC: 0.70–0.72). Models based on the global distribution of the species, however,were able to identify all regions where Ae. albopictus is currently established, including Europe (AUC: 0.89–0.91). In a second step, themodelled bioclimatic envelope of the global rangewas projected to future climatic conditions in Europe using two emission scenarios implemented in the regional climate model COSMO-CLM for three time periods 2011–2040, 2041–2070, and 2071–2100. For both global-driven models, the results indicate that climatically suitable areas for the establishment of Ae. albopictuswill increase inwestern and central Europe already in 2011–2040 and with a temporal delay in eastern Europe. On the other hand, a decline in climatically suitable areas in southern Europe is pronounced in the Expert knowledge basedmodel. Our projections appear unaffected by non-analogue climate, as this is not detected by Multivariate Environmental Similarity Surface analysis. The generated risk maps can aid in identifying suitable habitats for Ae. albopictus and hence support monitoring and control activities to avoid disease vector establishment.