Integrating pests and pathogens into the climate change/food security debate

Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, UK.
Journal of Experimental Botany (Impact Factor: 5.53). 05/2009; 60(10):2827-38. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erp080
Source: PubMed


While many studies have demonstrated the sensitivities of plants and of crop yield to a changing climate, a major challenge for the agricultural research community is to relate these findings to the broader societal concern with food security. This paper reviews the direct effects of climate on both crop growth and yield and on plant pests and pathogens and the interactions that may occur between crops, pests, and pathogens under changed climate. Finally, we consider the contribution that better understanding of the roles of pests and pathogens in crop production systems might make to enhanced food security. Evidence for the measured climate change on crops and their associated pests and pathogens is starting to be documented. Globally atmospheric [CO(2)] has increased, and in northern latitudes mean temperature at many locations has increased by about 1.0-1.4 degrees C with accompanying changes in pest and pathogen incidence and to farming practices. Many pests and pathogens exhibit considerable capacity for generating, recombining, and selecting fit combinations of variants in key pathogenicity, fitness, and aggressiveness traits that there is little doubt that any new opportunities resulting from climate change will be exploited by them. However, the interactions between crops and pests and pathogens are complex and poorly understood in the context of climate change. More mechanistic inclusion of pests and pathogen effects in crop models would lead to more realistic predictions of crop production on a regional scale and thereby assist in the development of more robust regional food security policies.

22 Reads
    • "Most analyses tend to focus on long-term food supply issues, notably the availability of sufficient land and irrigation water to maintain circa 90% self-sufficiency in food grains and the vulnerability of food production to climate change. However, the environmental impacts also lower current food security, for example, by increasing pest attacks and reducing soil productivity (Gregory et al., 2009). Moreover, the economic impacts include lower access of the poor to food by reducing farm incomes and increasing food prices (SAIN, 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: China’s successful achievement of food security in recent decades has resulted in serious damage to the environment upstream of the agricultural sector, on farm and downstream. The environmental costs of this damage are not only agro-ecosystem function and the long-term sustainability of food production, but also bio-physical including human health with impacts at all levels from the local to the global, and with economic loss estimates ranging from 7 to 10% of China’s agricultural gross domestic product (GDP).
    Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 05/2015; 209. DOI:10.1016/j.agee.2015.02.014 · 3.40 Impact Factor
    • "and pest proliferation (Gregory et al., 2009). Changes in precipitation patterns increase the likelihood of short-run crop failures and long-run production declines. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to show how climatic change in Africa is expected to lead to a higher occurrence of severe droughts in semiarid and arid ecosystems. Understanding how crop productions react to such events is, thus, crucial for addressing future challenges for food security and poverty alleviation. Design/methodology/approach - The authors explored how temperature and rainfall patterns determined maize and beans production in Hai District in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. Findings - Annual food crops were particularly sensitive to the drought and maize and beans yields were lower than perennial crops during the years of drought. The authors also report strong and significant association between maize and beans production with temperature and rainfall patterns. Practical implications - This study highlights how severe droughts can dramatically affect yields of annual crops and suggests that extreme climatic events might act as a major factor affecting agriculture production and food security, delaying or preventing the realization of the Millennium Development Goals. Originality/value - This is the first study that highlights how severe droughts can dramatically affect yields of annual crops in Hai District contributing to other climate studies done elsewhere in Tanzania and the world at large.
    International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management 03/2015; 7(1):17-26. DOI:10.1108/IJCCSM-07-2013-0094 · 0.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "sub - Saharan Africa migration patterns of locusts are influenced by rainfall patterns ( Cheke and Tratalos , 2007 ) . Warming or drought may change the resistance of crops to Downloaded by [ Gopal Shukla ] at 21 : 18 16 December 2014 specific diseases or through increased pathogenicity of organ - isms by mutation induced by environmental stress ( Gregory et al . , 2009 ) . The severity of disease in oilseed rape could increase within its existing range and can also spread north - ward over the next 10 – 20 years ( Evans et al . , 2008 ) . Changes in climate variability may also be significant affecting the predict - ability and amplitude of outbreaks ( Gornall et al . , 2010 ) . Of all crop pests , we"
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Climate change is looming large towards humanity in the coming decades. Agriculture also produces significant effects on climate change as a possible contributor of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere and as an industry that is highly sensitive to climatic changes. Climate is significant in the distribution, productivity and security of food. There should be a realisation that climate is both a resource to be managed wisely and a hazard to be dealt with. Thus, a portfolio of assets to prepare for climate change is needed. This chapter discusses in global detail, with special reference to India, the contribution of agriculture towards climate change, its implication, abatement, trade-off, adaptation and adjustment with barriers and policy recommendations towards achieving climate-smart agriculture.
    Climate Change Effect on Crop Productivity, 2014 edited by Sengar and Sengar, 12/2014: chapter Climate change vis-à-vis agriculture Indian and global view— implications, abatement, adaptation and trade-off: pages 2-88; Taylore and Francis.
Show more