Changing patterns of the East Asian monsoon drive shifts in migration and abundance of a globally important rice pest

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Lv, H., Zhai, M., Zeng, J., Zhang, Y-Y., Zhu, F., Shen, H., Qiu, K., Gao, B., Reynolds, D. R., Chapman, J. W. and Hu, G. 2023. Changing patterns of the East Asian monsoon drive shifts in migration and abundance of a globally important rice pest. Global Change Biology. 29 (10), pp. 2655-2668. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16636

AuthorsLv, H., Zhai, M., Zeng, J., Zhang, Y-Y., Zhu, F., Shen, H., Qiu, K., Gao, B., Reynolds, D. R., Chapman, J. W. and Hu, G.
Abstract

Numerous insects including pests and beneficial species undertake windborne migrations over hundreds of kilometers. In East Asia, climate-induced changes in large-scale atmospheric circulation systems are affecting wind-fields and precipitation zones and these, in turn, are changing migration patterns. We examined the consequences in a serious rice pest, the brown planthopper (BPH, Nilaparvata lugens) in East China. BPH cannot overwinter in temperate East Asia, and infestations there are initiated by several waves of windborne spring or summer migrants originating from tropical areas in Indochina. The East Asian summer monsoon, characterized by abundant rainfall and southerly winds, is of critical importance for these northward movements. We analyzed a 42-year dataset of meteorological parameters and catches of BPH from a standardized network of 341 light-traps in South and East China. We show that south of the Yangtze River during summer, southwesterly winds have weakened and rainfall increased, while the summer precipitation has decreased further north on the Jianghuai Plain. Together, these changes have resulted in shorter migratory journeys for BPH leaving South China. As a result, pest outbreaks of BPH in the key rice-growing area of the Lower Yangtze River Valley (LYRV) have declined since 2001. We show that these changes to the East Asian summer monsoon weather parameters are driven by shifts in the position and intensity of the Western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) system that have occurred during the last 20 years. As a result, the relationship between WPSH intensity and BPH immigration that was previously used to predict the size of the immigration to the LYRV has now broken down. Our results demonstrate that migration patterns of a serious rice pest have shifted in response to the climate-induced changes in precipitation and wind pattern, with significant consequences for the population management of migratory pests.

KeywordsBrown planthopper; Windborne insect migration; Migration trajectories; Pest management; Western Pacific subtropical high-pressure system; East Asian monsoon
Year of Publication2023
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Journal citation29 (10), pp. 2655-2668
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16636
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online16 Feb 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted03 Feb 2023
PublisherWiley
ISSN1354-1013

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