Potential areas of spread of Trioza erytreae over mainland Portugal and Spain uri icon


  • Trioza erytreae is one natural psyllid vector of Candidatus liberibacter, the causal agent of the citrus greening disease (HLB). Since its introduction in 2014 into the Iberian Peninsula, T. erytreae was able to spread continuously toward southern coastal regions of Portugal and northern coastal regions of the Cantabric sea in Spain. Identifying key areas of potential colonization by the psyllid vector is crucial to anticipate derived problems of establishing the disease. This work aimed to find potential areas that could be colonized by T. erytreae throughout the Iberian Peninsula using 1 km spatial data resolution, a physical barrier, long-distance dispersal events (LDEs), and 30 years of simulation. The bioclimatic suitability of Citrus spp. was used as a surrogate of its spatial distribution and a measure of habitat invasibility. Two localities, one in Portugal and one in Spain, were considered as initial points of the spread of T. erytreae. Four spread scenarios were initially simulated, corresponding to very low, low, medium, and high spread. An altitude of 400 m was included in the model as a physical barrier, and cells up to 500 km apart were allowed to be colonized due to LDEs. In this work, three key risk areas were identified, the citrus-growing areas of Setúbal (Portugal) and Huelva (Spain), and the potential corridors that may connect Guipúzcoa, where T. erytreae is already present, with the Ebro valley (Spain). Future modeling and simulation studies should include biological constraints such as the effect of parasitoids on the population of T. erytreae (e.g., Tamarixia dryi) and other barriers or corridors.

publication date

  • January 1, 2022