Assessing climate change impacts on the rape stem weevil, Ceutorhynchus napi Gyll., based on bias- and non-bias-corrected regional climate change projections.
Agricultural production is directly affected by projected increases in air temperature and changes in precipitation. A multi-model ensemble of regional climate change projections indicated shifts towards higher air temperatures and changing precipitation patterns during the summer and winter seasons up to the year 2100 for the region of Goettingen (Lower Saxony, Germany). A second major controlling factor of the agricultural production is the infestation level by pests. Based on long-term field surveys and meteorological observations, a calibration of an existing model describing the migration of the pest insect Ceutorhynchus napi was possible. To assess the impacts of climate on pests under projected changing environmental conditions, we combined the results of regional climate models with the phenological model to describe the crop invasion of this species. In order to reduce systematic differences between the output of the regional climate models and observational data sets, two different bias correction methods were applied: a linear correction for air temperature and a quantile mapping approach for precipitation. Only the results derived from the bias-corrected output of the regional climate models showed satisfying results. An earlier onset, as well as a prolongation of the possible time window for the immigration of Ceutorhynchus napi, was projected by the majority of the ensemble members.