Shifted migration of the rape stem weevil Ceutorhynchus napi (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) linked to climate change.
A multi-model ensemble of 15 climate change projections from regional climate models was used to assess the impact of changes in air temperature and precipitation on the phenology of pest species in agriculture. This allowed the bandwidths of expected changes in both meteorological variables to be calculated, forming the basis for assessing and clearly communicating the uncertainties related to the model results. More specifically, we investigated the potential impact of regional climate change effects on the crop invasion of the rape stem weevil, Ceutorhynchus napi Gyllenhal (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in Central Europe (Luxembourg). Multisite and perennial data from field observations were used to choose a biological model from the literature, based on daily maximum air temperature and daily totals of precipitation to describe the migration of C. napi. Based on this statistical relation, we were able to reproduce the observed crop invasion with a mean root mean squared error (RMSE) of 10 days. Daily values of projected maximum air temperatures and daily totals of precipitation of the multi-model ensemble were used as input data for the threshold-based biological model that projects the immigration of this pest species into oilseed rape crops (Brassica napus L.). We examined three thirty-year timespans, the near (2021 to 2050) and the far future (2069 to 2098) and compared them to a reference timespan (1961 to 1990). The projections showed a significant shift of crop invasion to an earlier onset for the near (14 days) and far future (21 days) compared to the reference period. In addition, the timespan in which the potential crop invasion will take place increased from 53 days in the reference timespan to 73 days in the near and 65 days in the far future based on the ensemble median values. It could be expected that a shifting of the immigration period will increase the risk of missing the appropriate time frame for an insecticide application. A depletion of stored nutrient resources, leading to starvation after diapause, can be eliminated for C. napi under climate change effects, as this species hibernates motionless as an adult in earth cocoons until emergence in early springtime driven by temperature.