Modeling the Potential Geographical Distribution and Ecological Niche of Selected Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) Species in Uganda

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Journal of Plant and Pest Science
Despite their overwhelming economic importance, efforts to assess the distribution of fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Uganda have been minimal. Consequently, in this study, potential geographical distributions and climatic envelopes of 10 selected fruit fly species were modeled. Two presence-only predictive models namely, Maxent and Bioclim, were run using 19 bioclimatic parameters at a resolution of 30 arc seconds. New detections and existing records of fruit flies were used in the model. The climatic profiles of the selected fruit flies were described and the relative importance of the bioclimatic variables was explored. There was a close agreement between the two models about the distribution and suitability patterns matching the main fruit agro ecological zones. Precipitation (PC-1 = 61.4190%) and temperature (PC-2 = 29.214%) significantly shaped fruit fly niches across the country. Central and mid north zones provided the most suitable niches, while the western, northeastern and areas around Albert Nile were characterized as marginally suitable. The models were mostly robust in performance (AUC: 0.815 – 0.974), with model test performance ranging from random (C. capitata: 0.486) to excellent (C. cosyra: 0.965). Predicted marginal sites, such as higher altitude zones matched negative areas of the models, which reflected higher model prediction abilities. These results provide an initial insight into the bioclimatic tolerance ranges of fruit flies in Uganda and should assist in identification of sites for future sampling efforts and fruit fly management planning.
Bioclim, Ecological Niche, Fruit Flies, Maxent, Uganda
Isabirye, B. E. (2015). Modeling the potential geographical distribution and ecological niche of selected fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) species in Uganda. Journal of Plant and Pest Science, 2(1), 18-32.