Isard Among Experts at National Forum on Climate and Pests
Posted: October 7, 2016
On Oct. 4-6, 2016, in Washington, D.C., Dr. Scott Isard participated in the first effort to bring together the climate and pest science disciplines to discuss climate change and pests at the National Forum on Climate and Pests.
The group of experts from the atmospheric and agricultural sciences met for the purpose of fostering a scientific exchange of ideas and to plan strategically about developing adaptable and resilient agriculture and forestry ecosystems threatened by pests due to the changing climate and climate variability.
Image: Nancy Cusumano, Northeastern IPM Center
Over the three-day forum, the scientists exchanged results of critical research being conducted on effects of climate on pests, microbes, and host-plant interactions. They discussed potential consequences of projected shifts in agriculture and forestry-related land use due to climate-related pest outbreaks or reductions. Much time was spent on identifying knowledge gaps and brainstorming about strategies for developing regional frameworks to support pest management decision making in a world where environmental conditions are changing with ever-increasing rapidity.
Important knowledge outcomes from the meeting included these:
- Aspects of climate change that concern stakeholders vary with the types of crops they grow;
- Foresters and growers of perennial crops are most concerned about the impacts of the increasing mean temperature on the types and number of the pests they manage;
- Stakeholders in field and forage crops are more concerned with season-to-season predictability as it relates to climate and pest populations, a characteristic that climate models predict with great uncertainty;
- Market forces related to supply, demand, and production costs are changing much more rapidly than the climate;
- Many of these stakeholders assume that the rapidly-advancing agricultural technologies will compensate any negative impacts of climate change.
This first National Forum on Climate and Pests was sponsored by the Regional Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Centers, Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Northeast Region Climate Hub, American Society of Agronomy, and the National Academies of Science Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources.