Biofuel production in Sub-Saharan Africa is an important part of local low-income countries. Among many plant species, Jatropha curcas gained popularity in this area, as it can be grown even where crops of agricultural interest cannot. A natural African pest of J. curcas is the Aphthona cookei species group, for which future climatic suitability is predicted to favor areas of co-occurrence. In this research, we identify the possible climatic corridors in which the colonization of J. curcas crops may occur through a circuit theory-based landscape connectivity software at a country scale. Additionally, we use the standardized connectivity change index to predict possible variations in future scenarios. Starting from ecological niche models calibrated on current and 2050 conditions (two different RCP scenarios), we found several countries currently showing high connectivity. Ghana, Zambia and Ivory Coast host both high connectivity and a high number of J. curcas cultivations, which is also predicted to increase in the future. On the other side, Burundi and Rwanda reported a future increase of connectivity, possibly acting as “connectivity bridges” among neighboring countries. Considering the economic relevance of the topic analyzed, our spatially explicit predictions can support stakeholders and policymakers at a country scale in informed territorial management.

A Continental-Scale Connectivity Analysis to Predict Current and Future Colonization Trends of Biofuel Plant’s Pests for Sub-Saharan African Countries

Iannella, Mattia;De Simone, Walter
;
Cerasoli, Francesco;D’Alessandro, Paola;Biondi, Maurizio
2021

Abstract

Biofuel production in Sub-Saharan Africa is an important part of local low-income countries. Among many plant species, Jatropha curcas gained popularity in this area, as it can be grown even where crops of agricultural interest cannot. A natural African pest of J. curcas is the Aphthona cookei species group, for which future climatic suitability is predicted to favor areas of co-occurrence. In this research, we identify the possible climatic corridors in which the colonization of J. curcas crops may occur through a circuit theory-based landscape connectivity software at a country scale. Additionally, we use the standardized connectivity change index to predict possible variations in future scenarios. Starting from ecological niche models calibrated on current and 2050 conditions (two different RCP scenarios), we found several countries currently showing high connectivity. Ghana, Zambia and Ivory Coast host both high connectivity and a high number of J. curcas cultivations, which is also predicted to increase in the future. On the other side, Burundi and Rwanda reported a future increase of connectivity, possibly acting as “connectivity bridges” among neighboring countries. Considering the economic relevance of the topic analyzed, our spatially explicit predictions can support stakeholders and policymakers at a country scale in informed territorial management.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/172500
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