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      The Impact of Climate Change on Agricultural Insect Pests


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          Climate change and extreme weather events have a major impact on crop production and agricultural pests. As generally adaptable organisms, insect pests respond differently to different causes of climate change. In this review, we address the effects of rising temperatures and atmospheric CO 2 levels, as well as changing precipitation patterns, on agricultural insect pests. Since temperature is the most important environmental factor affecting insect population dynamics, it is expected that global climate warming could trigger an expansion of their geographic range, increased overwintering survival, increased number of generations, increased risk of invasive insect species and insect-transmitted plant diseases, as well as changes in their interaction with host plants and natural enemies. As climate change exacerbates the pest problem, there is a great need for future pest management strategies. These include monitoring climate and pest populations, modified integrated pest management strategies, and the use of modelling prediction tools which are presented here.


          Climate change and global warming are of great concern to agriculture worldwide and are among the most discussed issues in today’s society. Climate parameters such as increased temperatures, rising atmospheric CO 2 levels, and changing precipitation patterns have significant impacts on agricultural production and on agricultural insect pests. Changes in climate can affect insect pests in several ways. They can result in an expansion of their geographic distribution, increased survival during overwintering, increased number of generations, altered synchrony between plants and pests, altered interspecific interaction, increased risk of invasion by migratory pests, increased incidence of insect-transmitted plant diseases, and reduced effectiveness of biological control, especially natural enemies. As a result, there is a serious risk of crop economic losses, as well as a challenge to human food security. As a major driver of pest population dynamics, climate change will require adaptive management strategies to deal with the changing status of pests. Several priorities can be identified for future research on the effects of climatic changes on agricultural insect pests. These include modified integrated pest management tactics, monitoring climate and pest populations, and the use of modelling prediction tools.

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          Food security: the challenge of feeding 9 billion people.

          Continuing population and consumption growth will mean that the global demand for food will increase for at least another 40 years. Growing competition for land, water, and energy, in addition to the overexploitation of fisheries, will affect our ability to produce food, as will the urgent requirement to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment. The effects of climate change are a further threat. But the world can produce more food and can ensure that it is used more efficiently and equitably. A multifaceted and linked global strategy is needed to ensure sustainable and equitable food security, different components of which are explored here.
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            Global food demand and the sustainable intensification of agriculture.

            Global food demand is increasing rapidly, as are the environmental impacts of agricultural expansion. Here, we project global demand for crop production in 2050 and evaluate the environmental impacts of alternative ways that this demand might be met. We find that per capita demand for crops, when measured as caloric or protein content of all crops combined, has been a similarly increasing function of per capita real income since 1960. This relationship forecasts a 100-110% increase in global crop demand from 2005 to 2050. Quantitative assessments show that the environmental impacts of meeting this demand depend on how global agriculture expands. If current trends of greater agricultural intensification in richer nations and greater land clearing (extensification) in poorer nations were to continue, ~1 billion ha of land would be cleared globally by 2050, with CO(2)-C equivalent greenhouse gas emissions reaching ~3 Gt y(-1) and N use ~250 Mt y(-1) by then. In contrast, if 2050 crop demand was met by moderate intensification focused on existing croplands of underyielding nations, adaptation and transfer of high-yielding technologies to these croplands, and global technological improvements, our analyses forecast land clearing of only ~0.2 billion ha, greenhouse gas emissions of ~1 Gt y(-1), and global N use of ~225 Mt y(-1). Efficient management practices could substantially lower nitrogen use. Attainment of high yields on existing croplands of underyielding nations is of great importance if global crop demand is to be met with minimal environmental impacts.
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              A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems.

              Causal attribution of recent biological trends to climate change is complicated because non-climatic influences dominate local, short-term biological changes. Any underlying signal from climate change is likely to be revealed by analyses that seek systematic trends across diverse species and geographic regions; however, debates within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveal several definitions of a 'systematic trend'. Here, we explore these differences, apply diverse analyses to more than 1,700 species, and show that recent biological trends match climate change predictions. Global meta-analyses documented significant range shifts averaging 6.1 km per decade towards the poles (or metres per decade upward), and significant mean advancement of spring events by 2.3 days per decade. We define a diagnostic fingerprint of temporal and spatial 'sign-switching' responses uniquely predicted by twentieth century climate trends. Among appropriate long-term/large-scale/multi-species data sets, this diagnostic fingerprint was found for 279 species. This suite of analyses generates 'very high confidence' (as laid down by the IPCC) that climate change is already affecting living systems.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                12 May 2021
                May 2021
                : 12
                : 5
                : 440
                [1 ]Department of Agricultural Zoology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetosimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia; ipajac@ 123456agr.hr (I.P.Ž.); dlemic@ 123456agr.hr (D.L.)
                [2 ]Department of Soil Amelioration, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetosimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia; mzovko@ 123456agr.hr
                [3 ]Innovation Centre Nikola Tesla, Unska 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia; vinko.lesic@ 123456icent.hr
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: sskendzic@ 123456agr.hr ; Tel.: +385-998-563-990
                Author information
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 07 April 2021
                : 07 May 2021

                climate change,global warming,food security,agriculture,insect pests


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