Potential distribution of fall armyworm in Africa and beyond, considering climate change and irrigation patterns

Bipana Paudel Timilsena, Saliou Niassy, Emily Kimathi, Elfatih M. Abdel-Rahman, Irmgard Seidl-Adams, Mark Wamalwa, Henri E.Z. Tonnang, Sunday Ekesi, David P. Hughes, Edwin G. Rajotte, Sevgan Subramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (FAW), first invaded Africa in 2016 and has since become established in many areas across the continent where it poses a serious threat to food and nutrition security. We re-parameterized the existing CLIMEX model to assess the FAW global invasion threat, emphasizing the risk of transient and permanent population establishment in Africa under current and projected future climates, considering irrigation patterns. FAW can establish itself in almost all countries in eastern and central Africa and a large part of western Africa under the current climate. Climatic barriers, such as heat and dry stresses, may limit the spread of FAW to North and South Africa. Future projections suggest that FAW invasive range will retract from both northern and southern regions towards the equator. However, a large area in eastern and central Africa is projected to have an optimal climate for FAW persistence. These areas will serve as FAW ‘hotspots’ from where it may migrate to the north and south during favorable seasons and then pose an economic threat. Our projections can be used to identify countries at risk for permanent and transient FAW-population establishment and inform timely integrated pest management interventions under present and future climate in Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number539
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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