|Fischer, D; Thomas, S M; Beierkuhnlein, C: Modelling climatic suitability and dispersal for disease vectors: the example of a phlebotomine sandfly in Europe, Procedia Environmental Sciences, 7, 164-169 (2011)|
Climate change is thought to assist spreading vector-borne diseases. During the last years, ecological niche modelling has been increasingly applied to predict the current distribution of disease vectors and their potential responses to climate change. However, sandflies and their transmitted diseases are only scarcely investigated via niche modelling. Here, we propose a methodological approach to combine specific dispersal pathways for a sandfly species (Phlebotomus perniciosus) with the shifting climatic niche in the face of climate change. Current climatic suitability for the species was determined. Future projection is based on data of a regional climate change model. We defined a cost-surface assigned by the changing climatic suitability and expert knowledge on species dispersal ability. The derived travel costs correspond to the effort for the species to move across the landscape to climatically suitable habitats. In future steps, least-cost paths will be calculated for this and further sandfly species with assumed spreading tendencies to Central Europe in the 21st century. Challenges are the integration of wind speed and biotic interactions.