Jean-François Silvain

Université Paris-Sud 11, Orsay, Île-de-France, France

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Publications (45)109.58 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Nowadays molecular species delimitation methods promote the identification of species boundaries within complex taxonomic groups by adopting innovative species concepts and theories (e.g. branching patterns, coalescence). As some of them can efficiently deal with large single-locus datasets, they could speed up the process of species discovery compared to more time consuming molecular methods, and benefit from the existence of large public datasets; these methods can also particularly favour scientific research and actions dealing with threatened or economically important taxa. In this study we aim to investigate and clarify the status of economically important moths species belonging to the genus Spodoptera (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae), a complex group in which previous phylogenetic analyses and integrative approaches already suggested the possible occurrence of cryptic species and taxonomic ambiguities. In this work, the effectiveness of innovative (and faster) species delimitation approaches to infer putative species boundaries has been successfully tested in Spodoptera, by processing the most comprehensive dataset (in terms of number of species and specimens) ever achieved; results are congruent and reliable, irrespective of the set of parameters and phylogenetic models applied. Our analyses confirm the existence of three potential new species clusters (for S. exigua (Hübner, 1808), S. frugiperda (J.E. Smith, 1797) and S. mauritia (Boisduval, 1833)) and support the synonymy of S. marima (Schaus, 1904) with S. ornithogalli (Guenée, 1852). They also highlight the ambiguity of the status of S. cosmiodes (Walker, 1858) and S. descoinsi Lalanne-Cassou & Silvain, 1994. This case study highlights the interest of molecular species delimitation methods as valuable tools for species discovery and to emphasize taxonomic ambiguities.
    PLoS ONE 08/2015; · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Species in the stem borer noctuid subtribe Sesamiina are notoriously difficult to distinguish because most related species have homogeneous wing patterns and almost indistinguishable genitalia. The latter is potentially problematic because this group include several important pest species that are usually hardly distinguishable from non-pest species. In this study we focus on the Mediterranean corn stalk borer Sesamia nonagrioides (Lefèbvre), an important pest of maize with a wide area of distribution that covers most of Africa and extends to the south of Europe and Western Asia. According to a recent study, this pest consists of three allopatric populations which were formerly considered as distinct species or subspecies. Here we rely on recent collections of 5,470 specimens (sampled in 17 countries and 175 localities) that putatively belong to S. nonagrioides. Integrative taxonomy studies allowed us to unravel the existence of six new species that are closely related to S. nonagrioides and described in this paper. In contrast with S. nonagrioides these new species have more specific ecological preferences, as they are associated with a limited number of plant species and habitats. Dating and population genetic analyses carried out on 100 S. nonagrioides specimens also indicate a more complex than previously thought population structuration for S. nonagrioides, which can be likely accounted for by late Cenozoic environmental changes.
    Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 05/2015; DOI:10.1111/zoj.12275 · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nowadays molecular species delimitation methods promote the identification of species boundaries within complex taxonomic groups by adopting innovative species concepts and theories (e.g. branching patterns, coalescence). As some of them can efficiently deal with large single-locus datasets, they could speed up the process of species discovery compared to more time consuming molecular methods, and benefit from the existence of large public datasets; these methods can also particularly favour scientific research and actions dealing with threatened or economically important taxa. In this study we aim to investigate and clarify the status of economically important moths species belonging to the genus Spodoptera (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae), a complex group in which previous phylogenetic analyses and integrative approaches already suggested the possible occurrence of cryptic species and taxonomic ambiguities. In this work, the effectiveness of innovative (and faster) species delimitation approaches to infer putative species boundaries has been successfully tested in Spodoptera, by processing the most comprehensive dataset (in terms of number of species and specimens) ever achieved; results are congruent and reliable, irrespective of the set of parameters and phylogenetic models applied. Our analyses confirm the existence of three potential new species clusters (for S. exigua (Hübner, 1808), S. frugiperda (J.E. Smith, 1797) and S. mauritia (Boisduval, 1833)) and support the synonymy of S. marima (Schaus, 1904) with S. ornithogalli (Guenée, 1852). They also highlight the ambiguity of the status of S. cosmiodes (Walker, 1858) and S. descoinsi Lalanne-Cassou & Silvain, 1994. This case study highlights the interest of molecular species delimitation methods as valuable tools for species discovery and to emphasize taxonomic ambiguities.
    PLoS ONE 04/2015; DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0122407 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extent of damage to crop plants from pest insects depends on the foraging behaviour of the insect’s feeding stage. Little is known, however, about the genetic and molecular bases of foraging behaviour in phytophagous pest insects. The foraging gene ( for ), a candidate gene encoding a PKG-I, has an evolutionarily conserved function in feeding strategies. Until now, for had never been studied in Lepidoptera, which includes major pest species. The cereal stem borer Sesamia nonagrioides is therefore a relevant species within this order with which to study conservation of and polymorphism in the for gene, and its role in foraging – a behavioural trait that is directly associated with plant injuries. Full sequencing of for cDNA in S. nonagrioides revealed a high degree of conservation with other insect taxa. Activation of PKG by a cGMP analogue increased larval foraging activity, measured by how frequently larvae moved between food patches in an actimeter. We found one non-synonymous allelic variation in a natural population that defined two allelic variants. These variants presented significantly different levels of foraging activity, and the behaviour was positively correlated to gene expression levels. Our results show that for gene function is conserved in this species of Lepidoptera, and describe an original case of a single nucleotide polymorphism associated with foraging behaviour variation in a pest insect. By illustrating how variation in this single gene can predict phenotype, this work opens new perspectives into the evolutionary context of insect adaptation to plants, as well as pest management.
    Journal of Experimental Biology 10/2014; 217(19):217, 3465. DOI:10.1242/jeb.1 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bridging the gap between the predictions of coarse-scale climate models and the fine-scale climatic reality of species is a key issue of climate change biology research. While it is now well known that most organisms do not experience the climatic conditions recorded at weather stations, there is little information on the discrepancies between microclimates and global interpolated temperatures used in species distribution models, and their consequences for organisms' performance. To address this issue, we examined the fine-scale spatiotemporal heterogeneity in air, crop canopy and soil temperatures of agricultural landscapes in the Ecuadorian Andes and compared them to predictions of global interpolated climatic grids. Temperature time-series were measured in air, canopy and soil for 108 localities at three altitudes and analysed using Fourier transform. Discrepancies between local temperatures vs. global interpolated grids and their implications for pest performance were then mapped and analysed using GIS statistical toolbox. Our results showed that global interpolated predictions over-estimate by 77.5±10% and under-estimate by 82.1±12% local minimum and maximum air temperatures recorded in the studied grid. Additional modifications of local air temperatures were due to the thermal buffering of plant canopies (from -2.7°K during daytime to 1.3°K during night-time) and soils (from -4.9°K during daytime to 6.7°K during night-time) with a significant effect of crop phenology on the buffer effect. This discrepancies between interpolated and local temperatures strongly affected predictions of the performance of an ectothermic crop pest as interpolated temperatures predicted pest growth rates 2.3-4.3 times lower than those predicted by local temperatures. This study provides quantitative information on the limitation of coarse-scale climate data to capture the reality of the climatic environment experienced by living organisms. In highly heterogeneous region such as tropical mountains, caution should therefore be taken when using global models to infer local-scale biological processes.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e105541. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0105541 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Understanding the mechanisms that influence the population dynamics and spatial genetic structure of the vectors of pathogens infecting humans is a central issue in tropical epidemiology. In view of the rapid changes in the features of landscape pathogen vectors live in, this issue requires new methods that consider both natural and human systems and their interactions. In this context, individual-based model (IBM) simulations represent powerful yet poorly developed approaches to explore the response of pathogen vectors in heterogeneous social-ecological systems, especially when field experiments cannot be performed. Methodology/Principal Findings We first present guidelines for the use of a spatially explicit IBM, to simulate population genetics of pathogen vectors in changing landscapes. We then applied our model with Triatoma brasiliensis, originally restricted to sylvatic habitats and now found in peridomestic and domestic habitats, posing as the most important Trypanosoma cruzi vector in Northeastern Brazil. We focused on the effects of vector migration rate, maximum dispersal distance and attraction by domestic habitat on T. brasiliensis population dynamics and spatial genetic structure. Optimized for T. brasiliensis using field data pairwise fixation index (FST) from microsatellite loci, our simulations confirmed the importance of these three variables to understand vector genetic structure at the landscape level. We then ran prospective scenarios accounting for land-use change (deforestation and urbanization), which revealed that human-induced land-use change favored higher genetic diversity among sampling points. Conclusions/Significance Our work shows that mechanistic models may be useful tools to link observed patterns with processes involved in the population genetics of tropical pathogen vectors in heterogeneous social-ecological landscapes. Our hope is that our study may provide a testable and applicable modeling framework to a broad community of epidemiologists for formulating scenarios of landscape change consequences on vector dynamics, with potential implications for their surveillance and control.
    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 08/2014; 8(8):e3068. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003068 · 4.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the prey-predator interactions between the European honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, which first invaded France in 2004 and thereafter spread to neighbouring European countries (Spain, Portugal and Italy). Our goal was to determine how successfully honeybees are able to defend their colonies against their new predator in Europe. Experiments were conducted in the southwest of France-the point of entry of the hornet in Europe-under natural and semi-controlled field conditions. We investigated a total of eight apiaries and 95 colonies subjected to either low or high levels of predation. We analysed hornet predatory behaviour and collective response of colonies under attack. The results showed that A. mellifera in France exhibit an inefficient and unorganized defence against V. velutina, unlike in other regions of Europe and other areas around the globe where honeybees have co-evolved with their natural Vespa predators.
    Behavioural Processes 05/2014; 106. DOI:10.1016/j.beproc.2014.05.002 · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coloration of stinging insects is often based on contrasted patterns of light and black pigmentations as a warning signal to predators. However, in many social wasp species, geographic variation drastically modifies this signal through melanic polymorphism potentially driven by different selective pressures. To date, surprisingly little is known about the geographic variation of coloration of social wasps in relation to aposematism and melanism and to genetic and developmental constraints. The main objectives of this study are to improve the description of the colour variation within a social wasp species and to determine which factors are driving this variation. Therefore, we explored the evolutionary history of a polymorphic hornet, Vespa velutina Lepeletier, 1836, using mitochondrial and microsatellite markers, and we analysed its melanic variation using a colour space based on a description of body parts coloration. We found two main lineages within the species and confirmed the previous synonymy of V. auraria Smith, 1852, under V. velutina, differing only by the coloration. We also found that the melanic variation of most body parts was positively correlated, with some segments forming potential colour modules. Finally, we showed that the variation of coloration between populations was not related to their molecular, geographic or climatic differences. Our observations suggest that the coloration patterns of hornets and their geographic variations are determined by genes with an influence of developmental constraints. Our results also highlight that Vespa velutina populations have experienced several convergent evolutions of the coloration, more likely influenced by constraints on aposematism and Müllerian mimicry than by abiotic pressures on melanism.
    PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e94162. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0094162 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phylogenetic analysis combined with chemical ecology can contribute to the delimitation of closely related insect species, particularly in Lepidoptera. In this study, the taxonomic status of a species in the genus Busseola (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) was discussed using morphological data, cross-mating experiments, sex pheromone chemistry, field-trapping, and molecular classification. The results of the chemical ecology experiments corroborated those from the phylogeny studies. It was concluded that several reproductive isolation components, namely host plants, geography, pheromone emission time, pheromone blend, and post-zygotic isolation factors, led to the separation of Busseola n. sp. from its closely related species B. segeta. Molecular data showed a strong difference between these two species, regardless of the marker used. The new species named Busseola nairobica was morphologically described and a hypothesis about the evolutionary history of the studied species was put forward.
    Annales- Societe Entomologique de France 12/2013; 49(3):345-354. DOI:10.1080/00379271.2013.863040 · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Contrary to native predators, which have co-evolved with their prey, alien predators often benefit from native prey naïveté. Vespa velutina, a honeybee predator originating from Eastern China, was introduced into France just before 2004. The present study, based on video recordings of two beehives at an early stage of the invasion process, intends to analyse the alien hornet hunting behaviour on the native prey, Apis mellifera, and to understand the interaction between the activity of the predator and the prey during the day and the season. Chasing hornets spent most of their time hovering facing the hive, to catch flying honeybees returning to the hive. The predation pressure increased during the season confirming previous study based on predator trapping. The number of honeybee captures showed a maximum peak for an intermediate number of V. velutina, unrelated to honeybee activity, suggesting the occurrence of competition between hornets. The number of honeybees caught increased during midday hours while the number of hornets did not vary, suggesting an increase in their efficacy. These results suggest that the impact of V. velutina on honeybees is limited by its own biology and behaviour and did not match the pattern of activity of its prey. Also, it could have been advantageous during the invasion, limiting resource depletion and thus favouring colonisation. This lack of synchronization may also be beneficial for honeybee colonies by giving them an opportunity to increase their activity when the hornets are less effective.
    PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e66492. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0066492 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Olivier Dangles, Mario Herrera, Charlotte Mazoyer, Jean-François Silvain
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding how and to what extent the influence of temperature on physiological performance scales up to interspecific interactions and process rate patterns remains a major scientific challenge faced by ecologists. Here, we combined approaches developed by two conceptual frameworks in ecology, the stress-gradient hypothesis (SGH), and the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship (B-EF), to test the hypothesis that interspecific difference in thermal performance modulates multiple species interactions along a thermal stress (SGH) and the subsequent richness effects on process rates (B-EF). We designed an experiment using three species of herbivorous agricultural pests with different thermal optima for which we determined how temperature influences the direction and the strength of interaction and subsequent richness effects on crop damage (7 species interaction treatments × 6 temperature treatments × 10 replicates). We showed that both biotic interactions and species richness effects drive variations in crop damages along a thermal stress gradient, and thus have the potential to drive agro-system responses to climate change. To help explain and generalize underlying mechanisms of richness effects on process rates, we further proposed a conceptual model that views interaction outcomes as shifting between positive and negative along a thermal stress depending on species thermal optima. Overall, our study demonstrates that nonlinear effects of temperature on process rates must be a major concern in terms of prediction and management of the consequences of global warming.
    Global Change Biology 04/2013; 19(4):1056-63. DOI:10.1111/gcb.12104 · 8.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Simulation models are essential tools in landscape genetics to study how genetic processes are affected by landscape heterogeneity. However, there is still a need to develop different simulation approaches in landscape genetics, so that users may dispose of additional programs to explore further the impact of land-use and land-cover changes on population genetics. We developed a spatially explicit, individual-based, forward-time, landscape-genetic simulation model combined with a landscape cellular automaton to represent evolutionary processes of adaptation and population dynamics in changing landscapes, using the NetLogo environment. This simulation model represents a unique tool for scientists and scholars looking for a practical and pedagogical framework to explore both empirical and theoretical situations.
    Methods in Ecology and Evolution 02/2013; DOI:10.1111/2041-210X.12041; · 5.32 Impact Factor
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    Emmanuelle Jousselin, Jean-François Silvain, Gael J Kergoat
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    ABSTRACT: Les insectes herbivores constituent à eux seuls probablement plus d’un quart des organismes macroscopiques. Dans la faune récente, les insectes phytophages représentent près d’un quart des espèces d’insectes (Grimaldi et Engel, 2005). Ces insectes sont engagés dans des interactions plus ou moins spécialisées avec les plantes dont ils se nourrissent. Dans tous les ordres d’insectes, on trouve des phytophages. Quelles sont les modalités de ces interactions ? Quelles sont les conséquences macro- évolutives pour les insectes phytophages ?
    Des insectes et des plantes, Editions IRD & Publibook 01/2013: chapter 35;
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    ABSTRACT: Thanks to the recent development of integrative approaches that combine dated phylogenies with models of biogeographic evolution, it is becoming more feasible to assess the roles of dispersal and vicariance in creating complex patterns of geographical distribution. However, the historical biogeography of taxa with good dispersal abilities, like birds or flying insects, still remains largely unknown because of the lack of complete phylogenies accompanied by robust estimates of divergence times. In this study, we investigate the evolution and historical biogeography of the globally distributed pest genus Spodoptera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) using complete taxon sampling and an extensive set of analyses. Through the analysis of a combined morphological and molecular dataset, we provide the first robust phylogenetic framework for this widespread and economically important group of moths. Historical biogeography approaches indicate that dispersal events have been the driving force in the biogeographic history of the group. One of the most interesting findings of this study is the probable occurrence of two symmetric long-distance dispersal events between the Afrotropical and the Neotropical region, which appear to have occurred in the late Miocene. Even more remarkably, our dated phylogenies reveal that the diversification of the clade that includes specialist grass feeders has followed closely the expansion of grasslands in the Miocene, similar to the adaptive radiation of specialist grazing mammals during the same period.
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 08/2012; 65(3):855-70. DOI:10.1016/j.ympev.2012.08.006 · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Between the late Oligocene and the early Miocene, climatic changes have shattered the faunal and floral communities and drove the apparition of new ecological niches. Grassland biomes began to supplant forestlands, thus favouring a large-scale ecosystem turnover. The independent adaptive radiations of several mammal lineages through the evolution of key innovations are classic examples of these changes. However, little is known concerning the evolutionary history of other herbivorous groups in relation with this modified environment. It is especially the case in phytophagous insect communities, which have been rarely studied in this context despite their ecological importance. Here, we investigate the phylogenetic and evolutionary patterns of grass-specialist moths from the species-rich tribe Apameini (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae). The molecular dating analyses carried out over the corresponding phylogenetic framework reveal an origin around 29 million years ago for the Apameini. Ancestral state reconstructions indicate (i) a potential Palaearctic origin of the tribe Apameini associated with a major dispersal event in Afrotropics for the subtribe Sesamiina; (ii) a recent colonization from Palaearctic of the New World and Oriental regions by several independent lineages; and (iii) an ancestral association of the tribe Apameini over grasses (Poaceae). Diversification analyses indicate that diversification rates have not remained constant during the evolution of the group, as underlined by a significant shift in diversification rates during the early Miocene. Interestingly, this age estimate is congruent with the development of grasslands at this time. Rather than clade ages, variations in diversification rates among genera better explain the current differences in species diversity. Our results underpin a potential adaptive radiation of these phytophagous moths with the family Poaceae in relation with the major environmental shifts that have occurred in the Miocene.
    PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e41377. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0041377 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cereal stem borer Busseola fusca Fuller (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a species endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. It is a major pest of maize and cultivated sorghum, the main cereal crops on the Afri-can mainland. Previous studies using mitochondrial markers revealed the presence of three clades of haplotypes (W, KI, KII) among B. fusca populations. Previous preliminary studies based on a few B. fusca individuals collected from three localities within the Guineo-Congolian rain forest in Camer-oon demonstrated a matching with clade KII, a fairly surprising result because the putative centre of origin of that clade is located 3 000 km away in East Africa. To check this finding, 120 individuals of B. fusca covering several Cameroonian sites belonging to both Guineo-Congolian rain forest and Afromontane vegetation mosaics were collected. Comparison of cytochrome b sequences using the same marker revealed low mitochondrial diversity (h = 0.483 ± 0.054, p = 0.073 ± 0.061%). More-over, molecular diversity in the Guineo-Congolian rain forest zone was lower than that in Afromon-tane vegetation, which is therefore thought to be the likely starting point for the colonization of other zones in Cameroon. The study showed a moderate but significant structuring between populations (Φ ST = 0.034, P<0.001) as well as within and among the two Cameroonian phytogeographical groups considered (Φ SC = 0.000 and Φ CT = 0.051, respectively, both P<0.001). Nested clade phylo-geographic analysis indicated that all Cameroonian clades with significant geographical associations were interpreted as a phenomenon of contiguous range expansion. All results suggest that the Cameroonian population of B. fusca is relatively recent and originates from the recent geographical expansion of clade KII.
    Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 06/2012; 145(2):143–152. DOI:10.1111/j.1570-7458.2012.01319.x · 1.71 Impact Factor
  • Catherine Cassildé, Patrick Blandin, Jean-François Silvain
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    ABSTRACT: Two phylogenies of Morpho butterflies were previously published, founded on morphological data analysis. These phylogenies shared similarities but also several differences. In the present study we used partial sequences of the CO1 and Cyt b mitochondrial genes to infer the phylogenetic relationships between the subgenera. From the ten subgenera previously described, seven are shown to be monophyletic: Iphimedeia, Laurschwartzia, Iphixibia, Megamede, Grasseia, Balachowskyna and Deyrollia. Although no consensus came out about the deepest relationships between the subgenera, it seems that the clade (Laurschwartzia, Iphimedeia) diverged very early from the other Morpho butterflies. The results also consolidated the recent creation of the subgenus Deyrollia for two species previously included into the subgenus Cytheritis. The subgenus Balachowskyna may be included in Cytheritis but the unclear position of M. zephyritis make difficult to affirm it. Morphological and molecular data, considered together, suggest that the Brazilian Pessonia species could be included in the subgenus Morpho
    Annales- Societe Entomologique de France 01/2012; 48(1-2):173-188. DOI:10.1080/00379271.2012.10697762 · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tropical mountains have a long history of human occupation, and although vulnerable to biological invasions, have received minimal attention in the literature. Understanding invasive pest dynamics in socio-ecological, agricultural landscapes, like the tropical Andes, is a challenging but timely issue for ecologists as it may provide developing countries with new tools to face increasing threats posed by these organisms. In this work, road rehabilitation into a remote valley of the Ecuadorian Andes constituted a natural experiment to study the spatial propagation of an invasive potato tuber moth into a previously non-infested agricultural landscape. We used a cellular automaton to model moth spatio-temporal dynamics. Integrating real-world variables in the model allowed us to examine the relative influence of environmental versus social landscape heterogeneity on moth propagation. We focused on two types of anthropogenic activities: (1) the presence and spatial distribution of traditional crop storage structures that modify local microclimate, and (2) long-distance dispersal (LDD) of moths by human-induced transportation. Data from participatory monitoring of pest invasion into the valley and from a larger-scale field survey on the Ecuadorian Andes allowed us to validate our model against actual presence/absence records. Our simulations revealed that high density and a clumped distribution of storage structures had a positive effect on moth invasion by modifying the temperature of the landscape, and that passive, LDD enhanced moth invasion. Model validation showed that including human influence produced more precise and realistic simulations. We provide a powerful and widely applicable methodological framework that stresses the crucial importance of integrating the social landscape to develop accurate invasion models of pest dynamics in complex, agricultural systems. KeywordsBoosted regression tree–Cellular automata–Crop storage structures–Gravity model–Invasive species–Long-distance dispersal–Mountainous landscapes– Tecia solanivora –Tropical Andes
    Landscape Ecology 12/2011; 26(10):1447-1461. DOI:10.1007/s10980-011-9649-4 · 3.57 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

442 Citations
109.58 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2014
    • Université Paris-Sud 11
      Orsay, Île-de-France, France
    • Institute of Research for Development
      Marsiglia, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
    • Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador
      • Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales
      Κίτο, Pichincha, Ecuador
  • 2004–2012
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France