Climatic limits of pink bollworm in Arizona and California: effects of climate warming. Gutierrez, A P; Ellis, C K; Ghezelbash, R.
The distribution and abundance of pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella Saunders (PBW)) in cotton in Arizona and California was examined using a validated weather-driven, physiologically based demographic model of cotton and PBW integrated into a geographic information system (GIS). Survival of diapause larvae during winter as affected by low temperatures is a key factor determining the range of PBW. Winter survival was estimated using data from Gutierrez et al. (Can. Entomol. 109 (1977) 1457) and Venette et al. (Environ. Entomol. 29 (5) (2000) 1018). The model was run continuously over the period 1 January 1995 to 31 December 2003 using observed weather data from 121 locations. Three output variables were mapped as measures of PBW persistence: over-winter survival of diapause PBW larvae, cumulative daily PBW larval densities over the season, and the number of diapause larvae produced during the season. The distribution of pink bollworm is predicted to be restricted to the relatively frost-free cotton growing areas of Arizona and Southern California where it currently reaches pest status. The model predicts that extension of PBW's range into the Central Valley of California is unlikely. The analysis questions the efficacy of an ongoing area-wide effort to prevent the establishment of PBW in the Central Valley of California. Four global warming scenarios were examined to estimate the effects on the potential geographic range of PBW. Average observed daily temperatures were increased 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 or 2.5 °C, respectively, in the four scenarios. Scenarios with average increases of 1.5–2.5 °C predicted that the range of PBW would expand into the Central Valley of California and the severity of the pest would greatly increase in areas of current infestation.