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Journal ArticleDOI

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

01 Jul 2009-Journal of Experimental Botany (Oxford University Press)-Vol. 60, Iss: 10, pp 2827-2838

TL;DR: 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.

AbstractWhile 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.

Topics: Crop protection (63%), Food security (56%), Agriculture (50%)

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Journal ArticleDOI
12 Apr 2012-Nature
TL;DR: It is argued that nascent fungal infections will cause increasing attrition of biodiversity, with wider implications for human and ecosystem health, unless steps are taken to tighten biosecurity worldwide.
Abstract: The past two decades have seen an increasing number of virulent infectious diseases in natural populations and managed landscapes. In both animals and plants, an unprecedented number of fungal and fungal-like diseases have recently caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever witnessed in wild species, and are jeopardizing food security. Human activity is intensifying fungal disease dispersal by modifying natural environments and thus creating new opportunities for evolution. We argue that nascent fungal infections will cause increasing attrition of biodiversity, with wider implications for human and ecosystem health, unless steps are taken to tighten biosecurity worldwide.

1,978 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: A comprehensive summary of studies that simulate climate change impacts on agriculture are now reported in a meta-analysis. Findings suggest that, without measures to adapt to changing conditions, aggregate yield losses should be expected for wheat, rice and maize in temperate and tropical growing regions even under relatively moderate levels of local warming.

1,127 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This work proposes a framework based on ideas from global-change biology, community ecology, and invasion biology that uses community modules to assess how species interactions shape responses to climate change.
Abstract: Predicting the impacts of climate change on species is one of the biggest challenges that ecologists face Predictions routinely focus on the direct effects of climate change on individual species, yet interactions between species can strongly influence how climate change affects organisms at every scale by altering their individual fitness, geographic ranges and the structure and dynamics of their community Failure to incorporate these interactions limits the ability to predict responses of species to climate change We propose a framework based on ideas from global-change biology, community ecology, and invasion biology that uses community modules to assess how species interactions shape responses to climate change

1,028 citations


01 Jan 2014
TL;DR: The questions for this chapter are how far climate and its change affect current food production systems and food security and the extent to which they will do so in the future.
Abstract: Many definitions of food security exist, and these have been the subject of much debate. As early as 1992, Maxwell and Smith (1992) reviewed more than 180 items discussing concepts and definitions, and more definitions have been formulated since (DEFRA, 2006). Whereas many earlier definitions centered on food production, more recent definitions highlight access to food, in keeping with the 1996 World Food Summit definition (FAO, 1996) that food security is met when “all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Worldwide attention on food access was given impetus by the food “price spike” in 2007–2008, triggered by a complex set of long- and short-term factors (FAO, 2009b; von Braun and Torero, 2009). FAO concluded, “provisional estimates show that, in 2007, 75 million more people were added to the total number of undernourished relative to 2003–05” (FAO, 2008); this is arguably a low-end estimate (Headey and Fan, 2010). More than enough food is currently produced per capita to feed the global population, yet about 870 million people remained hungry in the period from 2010 to 2012 (FAO et al., 2012). The questions for this chapter are how far climate and its change affect current food production systems and food security and the extent to which they will do so in the future (Figure 7-1).

854 citations


Cites background from "Integrating pests and pathogens int..."

  • ...The potential influence of pests and diseases is commonly beyond the scope of such studies (Gregory et al., 2009)....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The time is right to intensify goal-oriented interdisciplinary research on semiochemicals, involving chemists, entomologists, and plant protection experts, in order to provide the urgently needed, and cost-effective technical solutions for sustainable insect management worldwide.
Abstract: The idea of using species-specific behavior-modifying chemicals for the management of noxious insects in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, stored products, and for insect vectors of diseases has been a driving ambition through five decades of pheromone research. Hundreds of pheromones and other semiochemicals have been discovered that are used to monitor the presence and abundance of insects and to protect plants and animals against insects. The estimated annual production of lures for monitoring and mass trapping is on the order of tens of millions, covering at least 10 million hectares. Insect populations are controlled by air permeation and attract-and-kill techniques on at least 1 million hectares. Here, we review the most important and widespread practical applications. Pheromones are increasingly efficient at low population densities, they do not adversely affect natural enemies, and they can, therefore, bring about a long-term reduction in insect populations that cannot be accomplished with conventional insecticides. A changing climate with higher growing season temperatures and altered rainfall patterns makes control of native and invasive insects an increasingly urgent challenge. Intensified insecticide use will not provide a solution, but pheromones and other semiochemicals instead can be implemented for sustainable area-wide management and will thus improve food security for a growing population. Given the scale of the challenges we face to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the time is right to intensify goal-oriented interdisciplinary research on semiochemicals, involving chemists, entomologists, and plant protection experts, in order to provide the urgently needed, and cost-effective technical solutions for sustainable insect management worldwide.

721 citations


Cites background from "Integrating pests and pathogens int..."

  • ...consequences are difficult to predict, especially in view of the complex interactions between crops, herbivores, and pathogens, but climate-related changes most likely will combine to reduce yields (Hunter 2001; Gregory et al. 2009)....

    [...]

  • ...The consequences are difficult to predict, especially in view of the complex interactions between crops, herbivores, and pathogens, but climate-related changes most likely will combine to reduce yields (Hunter 2001; Gregory et al. 2009)....

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References
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Journal Article
Abstract: Cause, conseguenze e strategie di mitigazione Proponiamo il primo di una serie di articoli in cui affronteremo l’attuale problema dei mutamenti climatici. Presentiamo il documento redatto, votato e pubblicato dall’Ipcc - Comitato intergovernativo sui cambiamenti climatici - che illustra la sintesi delle ricerche svolte su questo tema rilevante.

3,967 citations