Climate change scenarios and models yield conflicting predictions about the future risk of an invasive species in North America

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• The pea leafminer Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard) (Diptera: Agromyzidae) is an invasive species in North America and a serious economic pest on a wide variety of crops. We developed a bioclimatic envelope model (BEM) for this species and examined the envelope's potential location in North America under various future climates.

• We compared the future bioclimatic envelopes for L. huidobrensis using either simple scenarios comprising uniform changes in temperature/precipitation or climate projections from general circulation models (GCMs). Our simple scenarios were: (i) an increase of 0.1°C per degree in latitude with a 20% increase in summer precipitation and a 20% decrease in winter precipitation and (ii) an overall increase of 3°C everywhere, also with the same changes in precipitation. For GCM-modelled climate change, we used the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis GCM (CGCM2) and the Hadley Centre climate model (HadCM3), each in combination with two scenarios from the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (A2 and B2).

• The BEM results using the simple scenarios were more similar to each other than to the results obtained using GCM projections. The results were also qualitatively different (i.e. spatially different and divergent) depending on which GCM-scenario combination was used.

• This modelling exercise illustrates that: (i) results using first approximation simple climate change scenarios can give predictions very different from those that use GCM-modelled climate projections (comprising a result that has worrying implications for empirical impact research) and that (ii) different GCM-models using the same scenario can give very different results (implying strong model dependency in projected biological impacts).

Keywords: Bioclimatic envelope model; CLIMEX; Liriomyza huidobrensis pea leafminer; climate change

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2010

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