Climate change has determined shifts in distributions of species and is likely to affect species in the future. Our study aimed to (i) demonstrate the linkage between spatial climatic variability and the current and historical Dubas bug (Ommatissus lybicus Bergevin) distribution in Oman and (ii) model areas becoming highly suitable for the pest in the future. The Dubas bug is a pest of date palm trees that can reduce the crop yield by 50% under future climate scenarios in Oman. Projections were made in three species distribution models; generalized linear model, maximum entropy, boosted regression tree using of four global circulation models (GCMs) (a) HadGEM2, (b) CCSM4, (c) MIROC5 and (d) HadGEM2-AO, under four representative concentration pathways (2.6, 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5) for the years 2050 and 2070. We utilized the most commonly used threshold of maximum sensitivity + specificity for classifying outputs. Results indicated that northern Oman is currently at great risk of Dubas bug infestations (highly suitable climatically) and the infestations level will remain high in 2050 and 2070. Other non-climatic integrated pest management methods may be greater value than climatic parameters for monitoring infestation levels, and may provide more effective strategies to manage Dubas bug infestations in Oman. This would ensure the continuing competitiveness of Oman in the global date fruit market and preserve national yields.
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- Climate change
- Date palms
- Dubas bug
- Ommatissus lybicus Bergevin