The multiple impacts of climate change could significantly reduce the effectiveness of current IPM strategies leading to higher crop losses. Better knowledge and understanding of pest behavior under different projected scenarios is required to adopt and develop new IPM technologies to respond to threats resulting from climate change.
Climate change produces warmer temperatures and increases CO2 gases, rainfall and drought that enhance disease, pests and weeds. Experts predict that these events will cause pests and diseases to spread further, covering more areas that increasingly become suitable for them, and to multiply faster in current areas.
The threats presented by climate variability and change include:
- an increase in the population and life cycles of existing pests
- an invasion by introduced or migrated alien species of plants or animal pests
- a reduction of crops’ tolerance and resistance to pests and disease
- an increase in food toxins (mycotoxins) such as Aflatoxin, and the appearance of new strains of toxin-producing fungi
- the loss of some wild relatives of crops that could be used to introduce desired traits in classical and modern crop resistance breeding programs
- a decrease in soil fertility and an increase in soil erosion that reduces the natural capacity of soils to control soil-borne pests and diseases
- a reduction of beneficial organisms for pest and disease control
- a reduction in the effectiveness of safe pesticides and herbicides
- negative effects on plant resistance.
SP-IPM expects to respond to threats resulting from climate change by carrying out collaborative research and surveillance to evaluate the changes in cropping systems and production practices affected by it; and to find out which cropping systems are the most vulnerable to increased threats from pests and disease due to climate change. We will also establish a biodiversity monitoring system to detect and analyze climate change effects on threats to soil biodiversity and plant and soil health. On-going CGIAR work on models and mapping tools for pests and diseases, natural enemy forecasting, and species distribution and adaptation studies, provide a solid foundation to build upon.
The knowledge gained in these areas will allow partners to develop and recommend new IPM options to counter current threats and future potential challenges.