Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Climate resilience of agricultural pests

An EU project is helping to manage agricultural pests by disentangling the effect of landscape on insect communities.
Climate resilience of agricultural pests
In the face of global food insecurity and unpredictable climate change patterns, there is growing interest in how landscape management can control agricultural pests.

This was the aim of the CLIMLAND (Disentangling landscape and climate effects on insect communities to inform engineering solutions to enhance biological control in a changing climate) initiative. The objective of this EU-funded project was to understand the effect of climate and landscape on populations of insects in cereal fields.

Researchers investigated whether a natural versus intensely-farmed landscape would impact on the temperature tolerance of highly-mobile beetles, aphids and less-mobile parasitic wasps. They found that the landscape did not affect the thermal tolerance of beetles as they could escape to more suitable micro-habitats.

Although research on aphids was inconclusive, researchers found the converse true for parasitic wasps, whose temperature tolerance varied greatly between natural and farmed landscapes. Those from intensively-farmed landscapes needed to be more temperature-tolerant than those from natural landscapes, where there are natural refuges.

Studying the survival of insects is important as insects will need to tolerate increased temperature fluctuations in the face of global climate change. Therefore this information could be vital to developing biocontrol solutions to managing agriculture pests.

Related information


Landscape, climate, agricultural pests, thermal tolerance, biological control
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