The potential effect of climate change on the geographical distribution of insect pest species in the Swedish boreal forest
With the expected rising temperatures, outbreaks of insect pests may be more frequent, which can have large consequences on forest ecosystems and may therefore negatively affect the forestry sector. In order to be better able to predict where, but not if, outbreaks may occur in future we investigated the potential future (2070) geographical distribution of 30 prospective insect pest species (Coleoptera and Lepidoptera) by applying species distribution modelling. We also assessed the geographical extent to which the boreal forest in Sweden may be affected. We found that numerous species may experience large increases in their potential distribution in future, which may result in outbreaks in “new” areas. It is therefore likely that more trees will be infested by pests in future, which may have large implications for the Swedish forestry sector.