Simulating the impacts of climate change on soybean cyst nematode and the distribution of soybean.
Climate change will undoubtedly impact air and soil temperature in the future. For agriculture, climate warming could be beneficial by opening new lands to profitable crops at higher latitudes. In Canada, soybean production has had a spectacular growth over the last five years with an increase of 27% in the acreage devoted to its cultivation. However, the anticipated climatic changes, coupled with global trading intensification could also favor the introduction and establishment of invasive alien soybean pests. For example, the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) has recently been discovered in the province of Québec, Canada and its presence raised several questions on its reproductive potential, spatial distribution and possible impacts on long term soybean cultivation. To investigate the consequences of climate warming on soybean and SCN development and distribution, and their interactions, two phenology models have been developed and used with the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5, associated with climate change scenarios. These pathways describe two possible future climates based on the level of greenhouse gases concentration in air. Using temperature optimum for soybean maturity group I, our results showed that soybean could be cultivated over all cropland of Québec by the 2050 horizon (2041-2070). Based on phenology models, SCN can currently complete from one to three generations in the different regions of Québec. In the future, the nematode could produce up to four or five generations in an optimistic (RCP 4.5) or pessimistic (RCP 8.5) scenario, respectively. Climate warming will promote the expansion of soybean production to northern areas and expected conditions will be more favourable to SCN development. Accordingly, we should develop more soybean lines with an early maturity and containing other sources of resistance than PI88788 to reduce its reproduction capacity under a more favourable climate in the future.