Impact of climate change on the spread of pests and diseases in Scotland
The movement of plant pests and pathogens into Scotland in likely to increase in the coming years, e.g. due to changes in trade, potentially increasing from outside Europe following Brexit, while their spread and severity could be affected by climate change (both positively and negatively). It is therefore vital that we understand the role of climate on the impacts of such pests and diseases across the whole of Scotland in relation to the distribution of plant hosts, allowing us to target potential control options on the main threats. The aim of this project was to develop web- and desktop-based tools that allow PHC and government plant health officials to assess possible impacts of climate on a wide range of threats to Scotland through simplified access to complex computer models.
This project constructed a modelling framework which combines epidemiological and economic modelling. The modelling framework was used to study predictions of spread and economic impact of pests which are not currently in the UK, including Xylella fastidiosa, Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (Zebra chip) and Ips typographus (Eight toothed Spruce Bark Beetle).
Impact: A web/desktop application is available to the PHC and Scottish Government to analyse the effects of climate change on the spread and economic impact of new threats.