Climex Software Box

Using simulation and modeling techniques, CLIMEX predicts the effect of climate change on species distribution. CLIMEX attempts to mimic the biological mechanisms that limit species' geographical distribution and determine their seasonal phenology and relative abundance.

Case Study: GM Crop

Future distribution patterns for species: Prediction of the naturalisation potential and weediness risk of transgenic cotton in Australia

Species invasion models developed by INRA Forest Zoology Unit


logoHearne Scientific Software is partnering with the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (URZF 633, Forest Zoology Unit) to develop simulation models to predict the potential distribution of invasive insect species.

These predictions combined with dispersal capabilities, host-tree distribution and climate change will enable the URZF to determine the most susceptible areas and help to improve management strategies.

The French National Institute for Agricultural Research is ranked number one among agricultural institutes in Europe and number two in the world. Research in this institute focuses on environment, land use, food and nutrition. About 10,000 researchers, engineers, technicians and administrative staff are working in 20 regional centres, 234 research units and 52 experimental units.

The Forest Zoology Unit located in Orléans (France) studies the mechanisms underlying insect expansion caused by human activity and environmental changes, especially global warming. Model simulations based on potential species distribution are required to predict the invasion risk of invasive insects, especially forest pests.

“The use of CLIMEX and DYMEX software has become necessary in our lab to determine the potential distribution of invasive insects at the European and world scale. These modelling techniques are complementary to mathematical models generally developed in our lab and their combination can provide highly relevant results about the effects of climate change.” Dr. Alain Roques, head of the Forest Zoology Unit, INRA.

The Forest Zoology Unit is a partner in the EU project called PRATIQUE (Enhancements of Pest Risk Analysis Techniques). Pest risk analysts, phytosanitary experts, invasive alien species specialists, ecologists, economists and risk modellers from eleven leading institutes from across the EU, two international organisations, one institute from Australia and one institute from New Zealand are involved in this project. Sub-contractors in China and Russia are also part of the project. One of the project issues is to assess the risk and analyse management options in ways that are meaningful, reliable and take account of uncertainty. Another issue is to ensure that the PRA process is efficient and practical for end-users.

Hearne Scientific Software provides one of the most popular software packages to determine the potential distribution of insect species: CLIMEX and DYMEX.

Close collaboration between Hearne and the CSIRO Entomology team and the Forest Zoology Unit will improve the predictability of harmful invasion risk.

CLIMEX Predictions Validated


logoRoadside surveys conducted over three years support CLIMEX predictions of negligible naturalisation potential for cotton in northern Australia.

CLIMEX is the software application used by scientists around the world to model and predict the potential distribution of flora and fauna. As our climate changes the potential distribution and naturalisation of flora and fauna changes. CLIMEX helps us to understand and map the potential new distribution and naturalisation patterns which emerge from climate change.

A new research paper* presents data from 3 years of surveys for cotton volunteers on a road transport route in Australia, over which they carry cotton seed for use on dairy farms. There is agreement between the results of the roadside surveys and the CLIMEX modelling predictions by Research Connections and Consulting showing negligible naturalisation potential.

A survey of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) volunteers was conducted along the 1400 km of a cottonseed transport route in north-east Australia to determine the extent of naturalisation from spilt seed. In each year, 1% of the road distance was inspected for volunteer plants.

Over 3 years, 22 cotton plants were found at eight sites. Within the cotton production region, volunteers averaged 2.28 plants per km of road; their most likely source was seed cotton spilt during the previous harvest. Further north, three plants were found over 3 years, at an average density of 0.089 plants per km of road; all three plants were found in locations with a positive Ecoclimatic Index. No secondary spread was detected. Roadside slashing reduced plant survival and the potential to produce seed. In the wet tropics, weed competition and slashing prevented volunteers establishing.

The surveys indicate that roadsides in north-east Australia are a hostile environment for the establishment of cotton plants, with no evidence of naturalisation or secondary spread. Current transport practices utilising fully covered loads present negligible risk of producing naturalised populations of cotton (either transgenic or non-transgenic) on roadsides in north-east Australia.

*ADDISON SJ, FARRELL T, ROBERTS GN & ROGERS DJ (2007). Roadside surveys support predictions of negligible naturalisation potential for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) in north-east Australia. Copyright 2007 Monsanto Inc. Weed Research 47, 192–201.

CLIMEX is developed and distributed exclusively by Hearne Scientific Software.

New CLIMEX and DYMEX version 3


logoHearne Scientific Software has today released new versions of the award winning CLIMEX and DYMEX programs.

CLIMEX helps you understand the impact of climate change on species distribution and the potential risk from invasive species to an agricultural region. CLIMEX enables you to assess the risk of a pest species establishing in a new location and the potential success or failure of a biological control agent.

In almost forty countries around the world, CLIMEX is used to model, predict and help control invasive insects. Insect infestation destroys billions of dollars worth of commercial crops annually and monitoring and controlling invasive insects in a warming world is increasingly important.

Agriculturalists and environmental scientists all over the world are adopting CLIMEX for insect modeling and universities are incorporating CLIMEX into their environmental science courses.

To-date CLIMEX has been applied in the areas of Forest Pests and Diseases, Crop Pests, Weeds, Livestock Pests, Biological Control, Global change, Vertebrate Pests, Environmental Pests, Conservation, Public Health and Climate Change and Plant Breeding. Another application of CLIMEX is predicting the potential distribution of genetically modified (transgenic) crops.

"Our CLIMEX predictions for transgenic cotton in northern Australia are in agreement with local experience. The inclusion of grided meteorological data sets was especially useful for our modelling".
- Dr John Rogers,
Research Connections and Consulting.

Major New Features in CLIMEX version 3

  • Two species can now be fitted with interactions between them (either competition or synergy) specified via parameters.

  • Radiation is available as an additional component to the Growth Index.

  • Two non-specific components (definable by the user) can be added to the Growth Index. These are the Physical Substrate Index and the Biotic Substrate Index. The variables determining these indices can either be specified as a single value for all locations or they can be location specific and read from the MetManager.

  • Automatic fitting of the parameter values that determine the Stress indices is available via a genetic algorithm based fitting routine.

  • “Regional matching” (i.e, the use of a set of locations for the ‘Home’ location in the Match Climates function) is available.

  • The MetManager application has been extended to allow the importation of up to 5 user-defined location constants as well as up to 5 user-defined variables.

The models produced with DYMEX help to summarise your understanding of an organism’s population dynamics, identify gaps in knowledge, and rapidly evaluate management options.

The dynamics of animal and plant populations are influenced by many factors, and understanding the response of a population to a multitude of external factors can be very difficult. Simulation models are a powerful means of representing such systems and allowing users to interact with them. DYMEX enables the user to build a class of ecological models referred to as mechanistic or process-based models, without the need to know a computer programming language.

DYMEX consists of two programs: a Builder and a Simulator that provide a user friendly platform on which to create and run population models.

"DYMEX helps us in preparing our pest models and deciding control actions. The GIS component helps us even more for decision making".
- Yusof Othman,
Malaysian Department of Agriculture.

With DYMEX version 3.0, populations can be divided into separate sub-populations (demes) within the model to represent, for example, genetic types or spatial units. Operations on lifestage processes have been greatly simplified via a new Lifestage Window. The Lifecycle module can now contain factors that belong to the lifecycle as a whole (i.e., they are not part of lifestage processes).

CLIMEX and DYMEX were originally developed by CSIRO Entomology and are now developed by Hearne Technology Pty Ltd. This software was a very complex research tool developed by scientists for scientists. The partnership between Hearne and CSIRO has turned it into a much more user-friendly and well-supported application that is getting much wider use.
- Dr Mark Lonsdale,
Deputy Chief of CSIRO Entomology.

On the Hearne web site you can view licensing options and prices in local currencies. Download the software user manuals, teaching tutorials and fully functioning 30 day trial versions. 

Potential Distribution of GM Crop


mapCLIMEX software from Hearne Scientific Software used to examine the potential distribution of genetically modified Cotton in Australia.

Would you like to know what the distribution pattern might be for any given species in the future as a result of climate changes? Or, what the distribution potential is for genetically modified plants in a given region? Or, what the distribution potential is for a foreign insect in a given agricultural region? Leading scientists from around the world use CLIMEX and DYMEX to help them determine the answers to these types of questions.

Recently Dr John Rogers, Principal Consultant, Research Connections and Consulting, used CLIMEX to examine the naturalisation potential of genetically modified and non-transgenic Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) in Australia north of latitude 22°S.

To date, more than 150 scientific papers citing the use of CLIMEX and/or DYMEX have been published. This latest paper is titled:Prediction of the naturalisation potential and weediness risk of transgenic cotton in Australia, Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, John Rogers, Robert E. Reid, Janet J. Rogers and Stewart J. Addison. Full Text: doi:10.1016/j.agee.2006.07.007

This is the first time CLIMEX inferential modelling has been used to evaluate the naturalisation and distribution potential of a genetically modified crop.

Dr Rogers, the principal author of this paper, is a long time user of CLIMEX and a respected Australian agricultural consultant. “I was an occasional user of the first Windows version of Climex and was excited to see the recent enhancements in Version 2”, said Dr John Rogers, Principal Consultant, Research Connections and Consulting. “The inclusion of grided meteorological data sets was especially useful for our transgenic cotton modelling, allowing us to produce detailed suitability maps using the 0.1 degree data sets. We were able to use the output from Climex to produce detailed continent-scale maps in a GIS mapping package, combining the Climex suitability predictions with soil fertility data.”

Dr Rogers became aware of the use of CLIMEX for weed risk assessment from his involvement with the CLIMEX development team and weed scientist colleagues in the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Pest Management.

“When Research Connections and Consulting was asked to do the transgenic cotton weediness risk study, I immediately saw the parallels between some of these previous uses of CLIMEX and this project. The important advantage we had working with cotton, compared to the challenges faced by the weed scientists, was the availability of detailed data on the responses of cotton to temperature and moisture, and good data on the original distribution of the primitive Gossypium hirsutum cottons in Central America. This allowed us to make rapid progress with the modelling and validation processes,” said Dr. Rogers.

He went on to say, “Our CLIMEX predictions for cotton in northern Australia are in agreement with recent experimental work. Dr Rowena Eastick from the Northern Territory Government studied the naturalisation potential of Bt cotton in bush sites in the Northern Territory and the Kimberleys over five years. In a paper that will appear shortly in the journal Weed Science, she reports that in the absence of supplementary water, all of her experimentally established populations died out. As well, cotton did not persist in the Ord River and Burdekin areas after commercial and experimental plantings ceased. Our CLIMEX predictions for all of these areas was that cotton would experience fatal levels of Dry Stress”.

“I also found the Irrigation Scenarios in CLIMEX very useful during the cotton modelling project. In the Northern Territory, there are approximately 60 sites with naturalised cotton populations, some on beach strands on the northern coast and others on river banks and floodplain margins further inland. All occur in locations where plants have access to extra water during the Dry Season. We were able to use CLIMEX Irrigation Scenarios to gain an understanding of how much Dry Season water was needed for plants to be able to naturalise at these locations. This assisted us with some subsequent work that examined cotton's naturalisation potential at roadside creek crossings in north-east Australia”.

About Research Connections and Consulting

Research Connections and Consulting provides professional services to the agricultural industry and science organisations. This company is based in Brisbane, Queensland, and their skills base covers; integrated pest management, agricultural extension, data analysis and scientific publication, GIS, mapping and information technology services.

CLIMEX and DYMEX Recognised as World Class Software


APICTA 2005At the Annual Asia Pacific ICT awards Hearne Scientific Software and CSIRO Entomology received a merit award for CLIMEX and DYMEX.

The Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) is an annual competition for the most inovative ICT organisations from 15 countries spread across the Asia Pacific region. Entry to APICTA 2005 was restricted to the 2005 winners from each member country's own ICT awards. At the Australian Information Industry Association iAwards in 2005 Hearne Scientific Software and CSIRO Entomology won 2 iAwards for CLIMEX and DYMEX.

APICTA 2005 was held in Chiangmai, Thailand from February 16-19, 2006. The 15 participating countries included Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and China.

Hearne Scientific Software and CSIRO Entomology received the merit award for CLIMEX and DYMEX in the General Applications Category. The category consisted of 13 software applications from organisations in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Pakistan and Vietnam.

The DYMEX and CLIMEX software suite is a unique model-building tool developed to assist biologists to carry out risk assessments and management of invasive species in agricultural and natural systems.

CSIRO Entomology plays a major role in protecting Australia’s agriculture and natural environments, and the development of DYMEX-CLIMEX risk assessment software will further assist in biosecurity, insect pest, disease and weed management, and protection of natural systems from invasive species.

This software was a very complex research tool developed by scientists for scientists. The partnership between Hearne and CSIRO has turned it into a much more user-friendly and well-supported application that is getting much wider use. It's great to see it recognised by the iAwards and APICTA schemes. - Dr Mark Lonsdale, Deputy Chief of CSIRO Entomology.

The software has been received with much enthusiasm by universities, government agencies and contractors and has attracted sales all over the world including the US, South Africa, India, Germany, Malaysia, France, Uruguay, Turkey, China, Spain, Japan, Ireland, Holland, New Zealand, Canada, UK and others.

DYMEX helps us in preparing our pest models and deciding control actions. The GIS component helps us even more for decision making. - Yusof Othman, Malaysian Department of Agriculture.

Hearne Scientific Software is currently developing CLIMEX and DYMEX version 3 and these editions are expected to be released in Q3 2006. Hearne has contracted scientists from the CSIRO to further develop the software's scientific functionality and usability. 

CLIMEX and DYMEX Tutorials


More than 460 pages of illustrated tutorials are now available for CLIMEX and DYMEX. These new tutorials are an excellent way of learning about biological Modeling with DYMEX and CLIMEX.

CLIMEX and DYMEX are the award winning biological modeling applications from CSIRO Entomology.

CLIMEX predicts the risk of the introduction and potential distribution of non-native invasive species. CLIMEX uses climate information and knowledge about the biology and distribution of a particular species in its original habitat to predict the species' distribution and risk of spreading to non-native habitats. CLIMEX can then also be used to identify possible collection and release sites for biological control agents.

Climate is one of the major factors limiting the distribution of plants and cold-blooded animals. CLIMEX can be used to predict the short and long term distribution of species' in their native and non-native habitats as climate changes.

DYMEX is a modular modelling package that allows the user to develop and run deterministic population models of biological organisms rapidly. The models produced with DYMEX help to summarise your understanding of an organism’s population dynamics, identify gaps in knowledge, and rapidly evaluate management options.

DYMEX helps you model natural systems.

The product tutorials for CLIMEX and DYMEX have been written by the scientists who have been developing and using the software since 1985. These tutorials are an excellent introduction to the software for new users.

Download CLIMEX tutorial (PDF).

Download DYMEX Insect Tutorial (PDF).

Download DYMEX Plant Modeling Tutorial (PDF).

Download DYMEX Perennial Plant Tutorial (PDF).

Hearne Scientific Software is the worldwide distributor for CLIMEX and DYMEX.

Climex - Invasive Species Modelling


Fire AntClimex, from Hearne Scientific Software, was recently used to model and understand the Potential Global Distribution Threat from the Red Imported Fire Ant. The Fire Ant has recently been discovered in Australia and New Zealand.

Risks to natural and managed ecosystems from invasive species and environmental change are creating demand for tools to assess regional risks in a data-poor environment. Specifically, ecologists need to estimate the likelihood of establishment of species in new regions and their impacts on biodiversity, agriculture, and built environments under current and possible future climates. Climex is a software tool in use across the world to help understand the threat from invasive species.

Robert W. Sutherst and Gunter Maywald, CSIRO Entomology, Australia, recently used the CLIMEX model to infer the response of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), to temperature and moisture from its range in the United States.

The fire ant originates from the Pantanal region in Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina (Buren et al. 1974, Shoemaker et al. 1996, Ross and Shoemaker 2005). It has a broad range of negative impacts on biodiversity (Allen et al. 1994, 2001, Gotelli and Arnett 2000) and urban environments (Lard et al. 2002).

Sutherst and Maywald tested hypotheses on the mechanisms that limit the distribution of the ant and estimated the potential global area at risk from invasion. The ant can spread further in the United States, including north along the west coast, where patterns of infestation will differ from those in the east.

They analysed the risk of colonisation in Australia and New Zealand, where the ant was recently discovered. The patterns of infestation of the ant in Oceania will differ from those in the eastern United States, with slower growth and less winter mortality.

This study adds to earlier temperature-based models by incorporating a moisture response; by replacing arbitrary categories of colony size to predict over wintering success with a site-specific model based on the balance between annual growth and survival; and by comparing different hypotheses on low temperature-related mechanisms that limit the geographical distribution. It shows how the response of a species to climate can be synthesized from field observations to provide useful insights into its population dynamics. Such analyses provide a basis for making decisions on regional management of invasive species and an informative context for local studies.

Hearne Scientific Software is the exclusive world wide distributor for Climex.

Hearne Scientific Software wins Agriculture and Primary Industries iAward


iAwardAustralian Information Industry Association’s (AIIA) iAwards recognise the industry’s most innovative companies for excellence in the development and deployment of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The iAwards were presented by AIIA, the Australian Financial Review and the CSIRO ICT Centre, Wednesday 25 May at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre as part of CeBIT Australia.

Hearne Scientific Software and CSIRO Entomologywere the award winners in the Agriculture & Primary Industries category for the DYMEX-CLIMEX risk assessment software. DYMEX is a unique model-building tool developed to assist biologists to carry out biological risk assessments and management of invasive species in agricultural and natural systems.

Speaking at the gala awards dinner, AIIA’s Chief Executive Officer, Rob Durie said, “The iAwards recognises that pioneering ICT transforms and increases productivity across all sectors of the economy and creates high value businesses, growth, exports and skilled job opportunities. The importance of ICT as an enabler for many other industries cannot be underestimated.

The iAwards acknowledges the commitment of leading-edge Australian ICT companies not just to our own industry, but to all sectors of the Australian economy.”

The iAwards Patron for 2005, Senator the Hon. Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, attended the award ceremony, along with more than 800 leaders from the ICT industry, government, academia and the media.

Innovation is critical to the international competitiveness of our ICT Industry, so it’s vital that we reward our success stories and encourage others to follow in their footsteps,” Senator Coonan said.

iAward Winners will go on to represent Australia at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards ( in Bali in late 2005.

The iAwards are strongly supported by industry and government and are proudly sponsored by Telstra, National ICT Australia (NICTA), Welsh Development Agency, IBM, the Department of Communications IT and the Arts (DCITA), CeBIT Australia, I-Nex Corporation, Accenture, Australian Computer Society and ZDNet.

About the Australian Information Industry Association

AIIA has represented, led and connected the Australian ICT industry for more than 25 years. AIIA is the peak body in Australia for the ICT industry, AIIA works across many areas to assist the ICT industry to meet its business objectives in corporate and government markets. For further information please visit

About Hearne Scientific Software

Hearne Scientific Software is one of the world's leading companies for Scientific, Technical and Research Software Commercialisation and Distribution. 

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