Climate Change Effects on Insects: Implications for Crop Protection and Food Security uri icon


  • Global warming and climate change will trigger major changes in diversity and abundanceof arthropods, geographical distribution of insect pests, insect population dynamics, insect biotypes,herbivore?plant interactions, activity and abundance of natural enemies, species extinction,and efficacy of crop protection technologies. Changes in geographical range and insectabundance will increase the extent of crop losses and, thus, will have a major bearing on cropproduction and food security. Distribution of insect pests will also be influenced by the changesin cropping patterns triggered by climate change. Major insect pests, such as cereal stem borers(Chilo, Sesamia, and Scirpophaga), pod borers (Helicoverpa, Maruca, and Spodoptera), aphids,and whiteflies, may move to temperate regions, leading to greater damage in cereals, grainlegumes, vegetables, and fruit crops. Host plant resistance, biopesticides, natural enemies, andsynthetic chemicals are some of the potential options for integrated pest management. However,the relative efficacy of many of these pest control measures is likely to change as a result ofglobal warming. Climate change will also result in increased problems with insect-transmitteddiseases. These changes will have major implications for crop protection and food security,particularly in developing countries where the need to increase and sustain food productionis most urgent. Long-term monitoring of population levels and insect behavior, particularly inidentifiably sensitive regions, may provide some of the first indications of a biological responseto climate change

publication date

  • 2013