Research press release


Nature Climate Change

Crop pests



今回、Sarah Gurr、Dan Beberたちの研究グループは、過去50年間の害虫発生に関する公開記録を用いて、気候によって害虫が移動するという仮説を検証した。観察バイアス(高緯度の先進国の方が低緯度の開発途上国よりも害虫の検出が早くなる傾向があること)のために、実際に検出された傾向とは逆の赤道方向への見かけ上の移動が示されることが想定される。この観察バイアスが、今回検出された傾向の強さを裏付けている。

Crop pests and pathogens have shifted polewards by an average of almost three kilometres per year since 1960. These findings, published online this week in Nature Climate Change and based on analysis of past observations of hundreds of pests and pathogens, support the hypothesis of climate-driven pest movement.

The emergence and spread of crop pests - which include fungi, bacteria, viruses and insects - present a significant challenge to food security, with the Irish Potato famine in the 1840s being perhaps the most famous example. Although the spread of pests is known to be facilitated primarily by human transportation, there is increasing concern that climate change could allow for the expansion of pests into previously unsuitable regions.

Sarah Gurr, Dan Beber and colleagues tested this hypothesis using published records of pest occurrence over the past 50 years. Observational bias - where more developed countries at high latitudes are likely to detect pests earlier than developing countries at low latitudes - would be expected to lead to an apparent shift towards the equator, the opposite of what was actually found. This lends support to the strength of the trends detected.

doi: 10.1038/nclimate1990

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