Title: Comparison of modelling approaches to simulate the phenology of agricultural insect pests under future climate scenarios
Authors: DONATELLI MarcelloBREGAGLIO Simone
Other Contributors: MAIORANO ANDREA
Citation: Publication series of the Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki p. 30-31
Publisher: Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC72300
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC72300
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The phenological development of insects is simulated predominantly via models based on the response of the organisms to air temperature. Despite of a large body of literature supporting the evidence that the organism physiological response to temperature is nonlinear, including a declining phase, most of these models calculate the rate of development using a linear approach, assuming that air temperatures mostly does not fall outside of the linear region of response to temperature of the organism. Another simplification is represented by the calculation of the rate of development using daily mean air temperature, which has been demonstrated being a reliable method only in limited number of conditions. It can be hypothesized that the use of models based on linear developmental rates, which can be successfully applied under climate conditions to which organisms are well adapted, could be inadequate under either future climatic scenarios or when extreme events occur. In such contexts, linear responses might lead to interpretations of climate effects not consistent with the real organism physiological response to temperature. In this work the case of Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (European Corn Borer – ECB) development was taken as an example to compare i) a non-linear approach with hourly air temperature as input (HNL), ii) a linear based approach with hourly air temperature as input (HL), iii) a linear based approach with daily air temperature as input (DL), and iv) a linear based approach using an horizontal cutoff temperature (development continues at a constant rate at temperatures in excess of an upper temperature threshold) with daily air temperature as input (DLcutoff). The comparison was performed on a European scale for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) emission scenario A1B, at three time frames: Baseline - 2000s, 2020s, 2050s. The SRES A1B was selected as one of those for which the projected raise of temperature is estimated to be one of the highest. Using degree-days (DD) as a proxy for the rate of development, results (Figure 1) showed that the DL approach predicts a higher accumulation of DD than the HNL in all the time frames in almost all Europe with the exception of Southern Italy and the Mediterranean coasts of France and Spain where the differences were negligible. These effects were due i) to the linear relationship used by the DL approach which do not take into account the stressful effects of temperature higher than the optimum, and partially ii) to the averaging operation that decrease the effects of high temperatures in regions with high (but not extreme) warm temperatures. The HNL and HL approach predicted the same pattern of degree-days accumulation in all Europe with the exception of the regions of Southern Iberian Peninsula (across all the timeframes), Balkans, and Turkey (under the 2050 scenario). This effect was due to the different HNL and HL accumulation of degree-days at temperatures higher than the ECB optimum temperature. The comparison between the DLcutoff and the HNL approaches showed similar results as the DL vs HNL approach in central and Northern Europe, while in Southern Europe negative differences (more DD accumulated for the HNL approach) were observed: in regions characterized by high temperatures, the cutoff temperature, setting a limit to the maximum temperatures diminished the calculated average temperature and as a consequence the calculated degree-days. The results of this work showed that according to the method chosen for simulations, different results can be obtained, hence leading to different conclusions about the effect of a warming climate on pest development. These results stress the need of reconsidering the appropriateness of models to be used, which cannot be assumed as correct on the basis of their effectiveness under current conditions.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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