Using the output from global circulation models to predict changes in the distribution and abundance of cereal aphids in Canada: a mechanistic modeling approach


Jonathan Newman, e-mail:


Climate change will alter the abundance and distribution of species. Predicting these shifts is a challenge for ecologists and essential information for the formation of public policy. Here, I use a mechanistic mathematical model of the interaction between grass growth physiology and aphid population dynamics, coupled with the climate change projections from the UK's Hadley Centre HadCM3 global circulation model (GCM) and Canada's Center for Climate Modeling and Analysis CGCM2 GCM to predict the changes in the abundance and distribution of summer cereal aphid populations in wheat-growing regions of Canada. When used with the HadCM3 projections, the model predicts a latitudinal shift northward in abundances but there is longitudinal variation as well. However, when used with the CGCM2 projections the model predicts that continental regions will see a decline while coastal regions will see an increase in summer cereal aphid populations. These effects are stronger under the higher emissions scenarios.