Climate change and pest risk in temperate eucalypt and radiata pine plantations: a review

<p>Climatic changes are likely to alter the distribution and abundance of insect and fungal pests of Australia’s plantations, and consequently the frequency and severity of outbreaks and damage to the host. Using review and synthesis of published literature, we examined these risks in temperate eucalypt and radiata pine plantations in Australia from the perspectives of individual pest and host responses to climate change and the response of the host-pest system to climate. The pests vary in their patterns of damage caused, host tissues affected, season of damage and the stage of stand development targeted. Twenty-one major pests were identified, the majority of which (71%) are defoliators and pests of eucalypt plantations rather than radiata pine plantations. Documented distributions of these pests are presented. The possible consequences of climate change for pest risk are examined in relation to effects on (1) pest lifecycles, (2) pest distribution, (3) frequency and severity of outbreaks, and (4) host susceptibility to damage. An integrated approach for managing pest risk under future climates, that combines these four elements, is desirable. Use of models is necessary to examine species distribution and abundance, and to integrate damage levels with impact on the host. Field monitoring should play an important role, providing data for model validation and to provide a critical link between data on pest species distribution, abundance and damage on the ground. The synthesis is supported with detailed supplementary material for each pest species.</p>