Historical and projected interactions between climate change and insect voltinism in a multivoltine species


Patrick C. Tobin, tel. +1 304 285 1514, fax +1 304 285 1505, e-mail:


Climate change can cause major changes to the dynamics of individual species and to those communities in which they interact. One effect of increasing temperatures is on insect voltinism, with the logical assumption that increases in surface temperatures would permit multivoltine species to increase the number of generations per year. Though insect development is primarily driven by temperature, most multivoltine insect species rely on photoperiodic cues, which do not change from year-to-year or in response to climate warming, to initiate diapause. Thus, the relationship between climate change and voltinism could be complex. We use a phenology model for grape berry moth, Paralobesia viteana (Clemens), which incorporates temperature-dependent development and diapause termination, and photoperiod-dependent diapause induction, to explore historical patterns in year-to-year voltinism fluctuations. We then extend this model to predict voltinism under varying scenarios of climate change to show the importance of both the quality and quantity of accumulated heat units. We also illustrate that increases in mean surface temperatures > 2 °C can have dramatic effects on insect voltinism by causing a shift in the ovipositional period that currently is subject to diapause-inducing photoperiods.