The Impact of Climate Change on Agricultural Insect Pests
Department of Agricultural Zoology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetosimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Department of Soil Amelioration, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetosimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Innovation Centre Nikola Tesla, Unska 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler
Received: 7 April 2021 / Revised: 5 May 2021 / Accepted: 7 May 2021 / Published: 12 May 2021
Climate change and extreme weather events have a major impact on crop production and agricultural pests. As generally adaptable organisms, insect pests respond differently to different causes of climate change. In this review, we address the effects of rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels, as well as changing precipitation patterns, on agricultural insect pests. Since temperature is the most important environmental factor affecting insect population dynamics, it is expected that global climate warming could trigger an expansion of their geographic range, increased overwintering survival, increased number of generations, increased risk of invasive insect species and insect-transmitted plant diseases, as well as changes in their interaction with host plants and natural enemies. As climate change exacerbates the pest problem, there is a great need for future pest management strategies. These include monitoring climate and pest populations, modified integrated pest management strategies, and the use of modelling prediction tools which are presented here.