Climate change is a global phenomenon that presents diverse threats to global food security. Of the avocados (Persea americana Mill), Hass is the most commonly cultivated variety in the world, representing an important source of nutrition in numerous countries, yet its potential risks in the face of climate change are unknown. Here, we characterise current and future potential distributional areas for Hass avocado under different scenarios of climate change across the Americas. We use ecological-niche modelling approaches to explore implications of changes in climate, considering 22 general circulation models, two emissions scenarios, and six model parameterisations. The current potential distribution of Hass avocado extends across tropical America (excluding most of Amazonia), including some areas at higher latitudes. Future projections show stability in potential distribution. Range expansions are expected mainly in temperate areas, and range contractions are related to temperature and precipitation increases, mostly in Amazonia. Model parametrisations contributed the most to overall variation in future projections, followed by climate models, and then emissions scenarios. Our conclusion of relative stability for the crop’s potential distribution is still subject to effects on other components of avocado production systems, and may be vulnerable to extreme phenomena.
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Vol. 70 • No. 8