Adapting pest and disease monitoring to climate change: towards a better understanding of the factors affecting European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) abundance in Québec in order to better adapt monitoring practices and manage the future risks associated with this pest

Annabelle Firlej, researcher

Annabelle Firlej

Researcher

450 653-7368
ext 363

Contact Annabelle Firlej
Daniel Cormier, researcher

Daniel Cormier

Researcher

450 653-7368
ext 360

Contact Daniel Cormier

Description

The European corn borer is the main pest of sweet corn in Québec The sweet corn pest monitoring network Réseau d’Avertissements Phytosanitaires - Maïs Sucré (RAP MS) has been using pheromone traps to monitor European corn borer populations in Québec for the past 40 years. Capture data for adult corn borers collected by RAP MS from 1977 to 2017, as well as a number of other databases, will be used for the analyses (Marcel Hudon, 1956‒1970 ; MAPAQ, 1975‒1987, and 1993‒1996, etc.).

Various data, such as number of insects captured, capture dates, and ranges of the two existing strains, will be analyzed to develop a portrait of how corn borer populations have evolved in Québec since the first data was collected. Various abiotic factors such as increases in Bt corn acreage and climate change will be modeled to explain observed changes in corn borer abundance.

Conclusive models will be built with climate scenarios (2041‒2070) based on regional models over a 10 km grid to evaluate the impact of these abiotic factors on the future evolution of corn borer populations on sweet corn in Québec. Laboratory and field tests will also be conducted to acquire new knowledge on overwintering survival of diapausing larvae with respect to climate change in Québec.

In light of the results, the pests and disease monitoring protocol currently used by RAP MS will be updated over the short, medium, and long term.

Objective(s)

  • Analyze the factors influencing European corn borer abundance in Québec to improve monitoring methods and better manage future risks associated with this pest
  • Gather, compile, and analyze historical data on corn borer capture rates and identify the main factors behind changes in its population densities
  • In the face of climate change, evaluate the impact of these factors on future changes in corn borer populations and acquire new knowledge on the overwintering survival of diapausing larvae
  • Suggest changes to the pest and disease monitoring system and strategy to better manage future risks associated with this pest

From 2018 to 2021

Project duration

Market gardening, Field crops

Activity areas

Pest, weed, and disease control

Service

Monitoring the corn borer will make it easier to control this crop pest.

Partners

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec – Prive-Vert Programme

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