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Agriculture, food security and climate change in Europe

May 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The GlobalChangeBiology project is part of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE – JPI) funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Program. The goal of FACCE – JPI is to achieve, support and promote integration, alignment and joint implementation of national resources under a common research and innovation strategy to address the diverse challenges in agriculture, food security and climate change. Partnering MACSUR, the first pilot action of FACCE – JPI that will start officially in June 2012 (see first newsletter), the GlobalChangeBiology project will provide case studies on grape and olive systems in the Mediterranean Basin. The MACSUR project is a knowledge hub that brings together 73 research groups from across Europe and will provide a detailed climate change risk assessment for European agriculture and food security, in collaboration with international projects including the GlobalChangeBiology project. As such, GlobalChangeBiology enhances the international dimensions of FACCE – JPI.

Prospective analysis of European grapevine moth

April 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The polyphagous European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Den. & Schiff.) is the principal native pest of grape berries in the Palearctic region. It was found in Napa County, California, in 2009, and it has subsequently been recorded in an additional nine counties, despite an ongoing eradication program. A holistic physiologically-based demographic model for L. botrana linked to an extant mechanistic model of grapevine was run using observed daily weather data to simulate and map (via GRASS GIS) the potential distribution of the moth in California and the continental U.S.A. The model predicts L. botrana can spread statewide with the highest populations expected in the hotter regions of southern California and the lower half of the Central Valley. In the U.S.A., areas of highest favorability include south Texas, and much of the southeast U.S.A. With climate warming, L. botrana abundance is expected to increase in northern California and in the agriculturally rich Central Valley but to decrease in the hot deserts of southern California due to high summer temperatures.

Gutierrez A.P., Ponti L., Cooper M.L., Gilioli G., Baumgärtner J., Duso C., 2012. Prospective analysis of the invasive potential of the European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Den. & Schiff.) in California. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, DOI 10.1111/j.1461-9563.2011.00566.x.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-9563.2011.00566.x

Analysis of the glassy-winged sharpshooter system

August 28, 2011 Leave a comment

The capacity to predict the geographic distribution and relative abundance of invasive species is pivotal to developing policy for eradication or control and management. An example is the glassy-winged sharpshooter Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) (GWSS) in California which vectors the bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa (Wells) that causes Pierce’s disease in grape and scorch-like diseases in other plants. A weather driven demographic model of grape, GWSS, its two parasitoids (Gonatocerus ashmeadi Girault and G. triguttatus Girault) and the pathogen was developed to show how the geographic distribution and abundance of GWSS as affected by weather and natural enemies in California can be easily assessed. The distribution of X. fastidiosa is limited to the warm inland areas of southern California. Biological control of GWSS further decreases the pathogen’s relative range. Two climate warming scenarios show that increasing temperatures will increase GWSS severity in the agriculturally rich central valley of California. The utility of holistic analyses for formulating control policy and tactics for invasive species is discussed.

Gutierrez A.P., Ponti L., Hoddle M., Almeida R.P.P., Irvin N.A., 2011. Geographic distribution and relative abundance of the invasive glassy-winged sharpshooter: effects of temperature and egg parasitoids. Environmental Entomology 40: 755-769.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EN10174

 

Project summary

February 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Analytical tools that provide a synthesis of ecological data are increasingly needed to design and maintain sustainable agroecosystems increasingly disrupted by global change in the form of agro-technical inputs, invasive species, and climate change. This is particularly relevant to the Mediterranean Basin, a climate change hot-spot already threatened by local environmental changes including desertification. The project will provide important tools for summarizing, managing, and analyzing ecological data in agricultural systems to address global change effects using grape and olive as model systems. The project will integrate weather driven physiologically based Ecosystem Modelling (EM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to derive a dynamic understanding of complex agricultural systems in the face of global change including climate warming. Multivariate analyses will be used to summarize the main effect of model predictions in a space and time independent way to provide a solid but flexible basis for managing Mediterranean grape and olive systems in a changing global environment. The integrated EM/GIS system may be viewed as a library of the current knowledge about agroecosystems that can be extended to other systems, updated with new knowledge and used to help guide multidisciplinary research on local and regional scales. The need for extensive weather datasets to drive the models requires that the EM/GIS technology be linked with remote sensing (RS) to enhance spatial resolution of the approach and increase its real-world applications. This combined innovative EM/GIS/RS tool will provide European governmental agencies with the scientific basis for developing policy required to adjust to global change including climate warming.

This research is supported by a Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant within the 7th European Community Framework Programme, project number 224091: “A physiologically-based weather-driven geospatial modelling approach to global change biology: tackling a multifaceted problem with an interdisciplinary tool”.