Chengcai Yan, Haiting Hao, Shuaishuai Sha, Zhe Wang, Lili Huang, Zhensheng Kang, Lan Wang, Hongzu Feng

Comparative Assessment of Habitat Suitability and Niche Overlap of Three Cytospora Species in China

  • Plant Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Microbiology (medical)

The plant pathogenic fungus Cytospora is notoriously known for causing woody plant canker diseases, resulting in substantial economic losses to biological forests and fruit trees worldwide. Despite their strong negative ecological impact, the existing and prospective distribution patterns of these plant pathogens in China, according to climate change, have received little attention. In this study, we chose three widely dispersed and seriously damaging species, namely, Cytospora chrysosperma, Cytospora mali, and Cytospora nivea, which are the most common species that damage the Juglans regia, Malus domestica, Eucalyptus, Pyrus sinkiangensis, Populus spp., and Salix spp. in China. We utilized ecological niche modeling to forecast their regional distribution in China under four climate change scenarios (present, SSP 126, SSP 370, and SSP 585). The results show that temperature-related climate factors limit the current distribution ranges of the three species. Currently, the three studied species are highly suitable for northeast, northwest, north, and southwest China. Under future climate scenarios, the distribution ranges of the three species are projected to increase, and the centers of the adequate distribution areas of the three species are expected to shift to high-latitude regions. The three species coexist in China, primarily in the northwest and north regions. The ecological niches of C. chrysosperma and C. nivea are more similar. The distribution range of C. mali can reach the warmer and wetter eastern region, whereas C. chrysosperma and C. nivea are primarily found in drought-prone areas with little rainfall. Our findings can help farmers and planners develop methods to avoid the spread of Cytospora spp. and calculate the costs of applying pesticides to reduce contamination and boost yields.

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