Abstract Aim, location Tomicus (Coleoptera, Scolytidae) species are some of the principal pests of Eurasian forest and are represented by three coexisting species in Spain, Tomicus piniperda (Linnaeus, 1758), Tomicus destruens (Wollaston, 1865) and Tomicus minor (Harting, 1834). The distribution of two taxa are unknown as they have until recently been considered separate species. Therefore, we model the potential distribution centres and establish the potential distribution limits of Tomicus species in Iberia. We also assess the effectiveness of different models by comparing predicted results with observed data. These results will have application in forest pest management. Methods Molecular and morphological techniques were used to identify species from 254 specimens of 81 plots. For each plot, a Geographical Information System was used to extract a set of 14 environmental (one topographic, six climatic) and biotic variables (seven host tree distributions). General Additive Models and Ecological Niche Factor Analysis models are applied for modelling and predicting the potential distribution of the three especies of Tomicus. Results The results of both modelling methodologies are in agreement. Tomicus destruens is the predominant species in Spain, living in low and hot areas. Tomicus piniperda occurs in lower frequency and prefers wet and cold areas of north-central Spain. We detected sympatric populations of T. destruens and T. piniperda in Northern coast of Spain, infesting mainly P. pinaster. Tomicus minor is the rarest species, and it occupies a fragmented distribution located in high and wet areas. The remarkable biotic variable is the distribution of P. sylvestris, incorporated into the models of T. destruens and T. piniperda. Main conclusions These results indicate that in wet areas of north-central Spain where T. piniperda occurs (and possibly the high altitudes of the southern mountains), T. destruens has a climatic distribution limit. In the northern border of this area, both species overlap their distributions and some co-occurrences were detected. Tomicus minor potentially occurs in high and wet fragmented areas.
Área de Biología Animal, Departamento de Zoología y Antropología Física, Facultad de Veterinaria 2:
Departamento de Ecología e Hidrología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain