Changing climate patterns risk the spread of Varroa destructor infestation of African honey bees in Tanzania

Richard A. Giliba, Issa H. Mpinga, Sood A. Ndimuligo, Mathew M. Mpanda
2020 Ecological Processes  
Background Climate change creates opportune conditions that favour the spread of pests and diseases outside their known active range. Modelling climate change scenarios is oftentimes useful tool to assess the climate analogues to unveil the potential risk of spreading suitability conditions for pests and diseases and hence allows development of appropriate responses to address the impending challenge. In the current study, we modelled the impact of climate change on the distribution of Varroa
more » ... structor, a parasitic mite that attacks all life forms of honey bees and remains a significant threat to their survival and productivity of bee products in Tanzania and elsewhere. Methods The data about the presence of V. destructor were collected in eight regions of Tanzania selected in consideration of several factors including potentials for beekeeping activities, elevation (highlands vs. lowlands) and differences in climatic conditions. A total of 19 bioclimatic datasets covering the entire country were used for developing climate scenarios of mid-century 2055 and late-century 2085 for both rcp4.5 and rcp8.5. We thereafter modelled the current and future risk distribution of V. destructor using MaxEnt. Results The results indicated a model performance of AUC = 0.85, with mean diurnal range in temperature (Bio2, 43.9%), mean temperature (Bio1, 20.6%) and mean annual rainfall (Bio12, 11.7%) as the important variables. Future risk projections indicated mixed responses of the potential risk of spreads of V. destructor, exhibiting both decrease and increases in the mid-century 2055 and late-century 2085 on different sites. Overall, there is a general decline of highly suitable areas of V. destructor in mid- and late-century across all scenarios (rcp4.5 and rcp8.5). The moderately suitable areas indicated a mixed response in mid-century with decline (under rcp4.5) and increase (under rcp8.5) and consistent increase in late century. The marginally suitable areas show a decline in mid-century and increase in late-cent [...]
doi:10.1186/s13717-020-00247-4 doaj:68b00e42142f426282e1bd889802582b fatcat:iba3naaplvg7dbpjuw2o5ahxzu