Use of an individual-based model to forecast the effect of climate change on the dynamics, abundance and geographical range of the pest slug Deroceras reticulatum in the UK

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Willis, J. C., Bohan, D. A., Choi, Y. H., Conrad, K. F. and Semenov, M. A. 2006. Use of an individual-based model to forecast the effect of climate change on the dynamics, abundance and geographical range of the pest slug Deroceras reticulatum in the UK. Global Change Biology. 12 (9), pp. 1643-1657.

AuthorsWillis, J. C., Bohan, D. A., Choi, Y. H., Conrad, K. F. and Semenov, M. A.
Abstract

Slugs are serious agricultural pests and their activity is strongly driven by ambient temperature and soil moisture. The strength of this relationship has been shown through the development of a deterministic model, based upon temperature and soil moisture conditions alone, which accurately describes the population dynamics and abundance of Deroceras reticulatum. Because of this strong climatic dependence, slug abundance and dynamics are likely to be affected by climate change. We used a validated individual-based model ( IbM) of D. reticulatum, to assess the effects of climate change on the abundance of this species in the UK. Climatic scenarios were based on the UKCIP02 predictions and constructed using the LARS-WG stochastic weather generator. The IbM of slugs predicted population dynamics at three time slices (2020s, 2050s and 2080s), and two scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions. The maximum generation number, the number of population peaks, the number of slug-days in each season, the percentage of years when the population passes over a threshold for damage and the percentage of years in which populations go extinct were investigated. Currently, the south-west of the UK has the best conditions for D. reticulatum to thrive, with the north-east of Scotland having the most adverse. By 2080 under both low- and high-emissions scenarios, the north and west of Scotland will have the most favourable conditions for the survival of this species and the east of the UK and Scotland will have the harshest. By 2080 the climate in the north-west of Scotland will become more like the current climate in southeast England, which explains the shift in the pattern of abundance. The north-west of Scotland will have increased slug damage and south-west England and west-Wales will have decreased slug damage with some changes becoming evident by 2020.

Keywordsbiodiversity conservation; Ecology; Environmental Sciences
Year of Publication2006
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Journal citation12 (9), pp. 1643-1657
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2006.01201.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or code510
513
ISSN13541013
PublisherWiley

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