The impact of invasive species is not limited to the loss of biodiversity; it also represents significant threats to agriculture on a global scale. The Japanese beetle Popillia japonica (native to Japan but an invasive agricultural pest in North America) recently occurred in the Po plain (Italy), one of the most cultivated areas in southern Europe. Thus, our aims were to identify (i) the main landscape predictors related to the occurrence of the Japanese beetle and (ii) the areas of potential invasion of the Japanese beetle in the two Northern Italian regions in which this invasive species currently occurs, Piedmont and Lombardy. Specifically, we combined Japanese beetle occurrences available in the citizen science online platform iNaturalist with high-resolution landscape predictors in an ensemble approach and averaged the results of Bayesian generalized linear and additive models developed with the integrated nested Laplace approximation (with stochastic partial differential equation). We found that the occurrence of the Japanese beetle was negatively related to the percentage of broadleaf forests and pastures, while it was positively related to sparse and dense human settlements as well as intensive crops. Moreover, the occurrence of the Japanese beetle increased in relation to the percentage of rice fields until a peak at around 50%. The Japanese beetle was likely to occur in 32.49% of our study area, corresponding to 16,000.02 km(2), mainly located in the Po plain, low hills, and mountain valleys. We stress that the Japanese beetle is a high-risk invasive species in human-dominated landscapes. Thus, we strongly recommend that local administrations quickly enact pest management in order to reduce further spread.

The Spread of the Japanese Beetle in a European Human-Dominated Landscape: High Anthropization Favors Colonization of Popillia japonica

Della Rocca, F
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The impact of invasive species is not limited to the loss of biodiversity; it also represents significant threats to agriculture on a global scale. The Japanese beetle Popillia japonica (native to Japan but an invasive agricultural pest in North America) recently occurred in the Po plain (Italy), one of the most cultivated areas in southern Europe. Thus, our aims were to identify (i) the main landscape predictors related to the occurrence of the Japanese beetle and (ii) the areas of potential invasion of the Japanese beetle in the two Northern Italian regions in which this invasive species currently occurs, Piedmont and Lombardy. Specifically, we combined Japanese beetle occurrences available in the citizen science online platform iNaturalist with high-resolution landscape predictors in an ensemble approach and averaged the results of Bayesian generalized linear and additive models developed with the integrated nested Laplace approximation (with stochastic partial differential equation). We found that the occurrence of the Japanese beetle was negatively related to the percentage of broadleaf forests and pastures, while it was positively related to sparse and dense human settlements as well as intensive crops. Moreover, the occurrence of the Japanese beetle increased in relation to the percentage of rice fields until a peak at around 50%. The Japanese beetle was likely to occur in 32.49% of our study area, corresponding to 16,000.02 km(2), mainly located in the Po plain, low hills, and mountain valleys. We stress that the Japanese beetle is a high-risk invasive species in human-dominated landscapes. Thus, we strongly recommend that local administrations quickly enact pest management in order to reduce further spread.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1463549
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