Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aphids Are Sentinels Of Climate Change

Date:
August 12, 2008
Source:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Summary:
Aphids are sentinels of climate change, researchers have shown. One of the UK's most damaging aphids -- the peach-potato aphid (Myzus persicae) -- has been found to be flying two weeks earlier for every 1C rise in mean temperature for January and February combined. This year, the first aphid was caught on April 25, almost four weeks ahead of the 42-year average.

Aphids are emerging as sentinels of climate change, researchers at BBSRC-supported Rothamsted Research have shown. One of the UK's most damaging aphids – the peach-potato aphid (Myzus persicae) – has been found to be flying two weeks earlier for every 1C rise in mean temperature for January and February combined.

Related Articles


This year, the first aphid was caught on 25 April, which is almost four weeks ahead of the 42-year average.

Dr Richard Harrington of the Rothamsted Insect Survey said: "One of the most noticeable consequences of climate change in the UK is the frequency of mild winters. As a direct result of this, aphids seeking new sources of food are appearing significantly earlier in the year and in significantly higher numbers. We have been studying the seasonal biology of aphids for a long time now and we know that populations can continue to grow over the winter and spring provided that conditions are warm enough. After a warm winter, there are much larger numbers flying and they are hence detected much earlier. This means that there are more aphids flying in spring and early summer, when crops are particularly vulnerable to damage."

Scientists at Rothamsted Research have been monitoring the flying form of all aphid species for 42 years. They use a network of 16 suction traps (12 in England and 4 in Scotland), placed at various sites, to collect a representative sample of all flying insects. The long term data on aphids can be used to understand the wider implications of climate change, and also to prepare for the season ahead by determining the need for and timing of aphid control measures (based on preceding winter temperatures).

As well as being important indicators of a changing climate, aphids can cause devastating damage to crops. They extract large amounts of sap, weakening the plant, and also spread plant viruses. In addition, because the sap is very high in sugars the aphids excrete very sticky honeydew, which can encourage the growth of sooty moulds that build up and prevent sunlight from reaching the leaves, causing further weakening.

Professor Nigel Brown, Director of Science and Technology, BBSRC said: "Environmental change is one of the big challenges facing the world today. These long-term data on the seasonal appearance of flying aphids not only show that there are already noticeable changes in the UK climate, but they also provide the knowledge which will help to mitigate the consequences."

This work is reported in BBSRC Business, the quarterly research highlights magazine of BBSRC (the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. "Aphids Are Sentinels Of Climate Change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806113145.htm>.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. (2008, August 12). Aphids Are Sentinels Of Climate Change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806113145.htm
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. "Aphids Are Sentinels Of Climate Change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806113145.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins