Dispersal and colonization risk of the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, in southern Europe
Marchioro M, Faccoli M (2021) Dispersal and colonization risk of the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, in southern Europe. Journal of Pest Science. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-021-01372-5
The Walnut Twig Beetle (WTB), Pityophthorus juglandis Blackman, is a small bark beetle native to Mexico and Southwestern USA recorded for the first time in Europe (NE Italy) in 2013. WTB attacks walnut (Juglans spp.) and wingnut trees (Pterocarya spp.) and is the vector of Geosmithia morbida Kolarík et al., a pathogen causing the thousand cankers disease (TCD). WTB and TCD represent a serious threat for walnut orchards in Europe. Spatiotemporal data of the WTB-TCD infestations recorded from an 8-year-long (2013–2020) monitoring conducted in 106 walnut orchards of NE Italy were used to develop a model in order to analyze: (i) the effective dispersal capacity of WTB, (ii) the factors affecting dispersal and (iii) the colonization risk of healthy walnut orchards. We registered a mean annual dispersal of 9.4 km, with peaks of about 40 km. Pest dispersal is affected by distance of suitable hosts from the nearest infested site, number of walnut orchards in the surroundings (both infested and healthy), orchard size and walnut species in the orchard. Using the model, it was also possible to calculate the colonization risk of a specific walnut orchard according to its characteristics showing, for instance, that a medium-size (5,000 trees) black walnut orchard located at 25 km from the nearest infested orchard has an infestation risk of about 50% of probability.
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