Navigation Links
Spread of crop pests threatens global food security as Earth warms
Date:9/1/2013

A new study has revealed that global warming is resulting in the spread of crop pests towards the North and South Poles at a rate of nearly 3 km a year. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change and carried out by researchers at the University of Exeter and the University of Oxford, shows a strong relationship between increased global temperatures over the past 50 years and expansion in the range of crop pests.

Currently 10-16% of global crop production is lost to pests. Crop pests include fungi, bacteria, viruses, insects, nematodes, viroids and oomycetes. The diversity of crop pests continues to expand and new strains are continually evolving. Losses of major crops to fungi, and fungi-like microorganisms, amount to enough to feed nearly nine percent of today's global population. The study suggests that these figures will increase further if global temperatures continue to rise as predicted.

The spread of pests is caused by both human activities and natural processes but is thought to be primarily the result of international freight transportation. The study suggests that the warming climate is allowing pests to become established in previously unsuitable regions. For example, warming generally stimulates insect herbivory at higher latitudes as seen in outbreaks of the Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) that has destroyed large areas of pine forest in the US Pacific Northwest. In addition, the rice blast fungus which is present in over 80 countries, and has a dramatic effect both on the agricultural economy and ecosystem health, has now moved to wheat. Considered a new disease, wheat blast is sharply reducing wheat yields in Brazil.

Dr Dan Bebber from the University of Exeter said: "If crop pests continue to march polewards as the Earth warms the combined effects of a growing world population and the increased loss of crops to pests will pose a serious threat to global food security."

Professor Sarah Gurr from the University of Exeter (previously at the University of Oxford) said: "Renewed efforts are required to monitor the spread of crop pests and to control their movement from region to region if we are to halt the relentless destruction of crops across the world in the face of climate change."

The study used published observations of the distribution of 612 crop pests collected over the past 50 years. It revealed that the movement of pests north and south towards the poles, and into new previously un-colonised regions, corresponds to increased temperatures during that period.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Bowler
j.bowler@exeter.ac.uk
44-013-927-22062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Protein involved in nerve-cell migration implicated in spread of brain cancer
2. Researchers describe potential for MERS coronavirus to spread internationally
3. CSI-style DNA fingerprinting tracks down cause of cancer spread
4. How cancer spreads: Metastatic tumor a hybrid of cancer cell and white blood cell
5. Bullfrogs may help spread deadly amphibian fungus, but also die from it
6. Vitamin D deficiency may help spread of hepatitis B throughout liver
7. First dual-action compound kills cancer cells, stops them from spreading
8. Widespread but neglected disease a health threat in Africa, Virginia Tech researchers say
9. Climate change will cause widespread global-scale loss of common plants and animals
10. Scientists alarmed by rapid spread of Brown Streak Disease in cassava
11. Viral curiosity spreads across continents
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Optimove , provider of ... such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today announced two ... Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, these features ... replenishment recommendations to their customers based not just ... customer intent drawn from a complex web of ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... -- CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in ... ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide ... ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... 7, 2017 Brandwatch , the leading social intelligence ... Prince,s Trust to uncover insights to support its reporting, help ... The UK,s leading youth charity will be using Brandwatch Analytics ... get a better understanding of the topics and issues that are ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... Optofluidics today announced that it's ... the company changed focus to making analytical tools for biopharmaceutical quality control. “We ... says CEO Robert Hart. Founders Bernardo Cordovez, Robert Hart and David Erickson have ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 19, 2017 , ... As part of the ... to novices as well as experienced users, attendees will gain a better understanding ... tests. , Hemostasis testing quality is determined by preanalytical variables which encompass ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017 Veracyte, Inc. ... that it will report its first quarter 2017 ... 3, 2017. Following the announcement, Veracyte,s management will host a ... Time to discuss the company,s financial results and business ... replay may be accessed by visiting Veracyte,s website at  http://investor.veracyte.com ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... April 18, 2017 , ... For ... Research Associates, co-members in the VaxCorps vaccine consortium, were named one of the top ... finalist since the inception of this category; winning the award four times previously, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: