Projecting insect voltinism under high and low greenhouse gas emission conditions

Shi Chen, Shelby J. Fleischer, Patrick C. Tobin, Michael C. Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We develop individual-based Monte Carlo methods to explore how climate change can alter insect voltinism under varying greenhouse gas emissions scenarios by using input distributions of diapause termination or spring emergence, development rate, and diapause initiation, linked to daily temperature and photoperiod. We show concurrence of these projections with a field dataset, and then explore changes in grape berry moth, Paralobesia viteana (Clemens), voltinism that may occur with climate projections developed from the average of three climate models using two different future emissions scenarios from the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC). Based on historical climate data from 1960 to 2008, and projected downscaled climate data until 2099 under both high (A1fi) and low (B1) greenhouse gas emission scenarios, we used concepts of P. viteana biology to estimate distributions of individuals entering successive generations per year. Under the low emissions scenario, we observed an earlier emergence from diapause and a shift in mean voltinism from 2.8 to 3.1 generations per year, with a fraction of the population achieving a fourth generation. Under the high emissions scenario, up to 3.6 mean generations per year were projected by the end of this century, with a very small fraction of the population achieving a fifth generation. Changes in voltinism in this and other species in response to climate change likely will cause significant economic and ecological impacts, and the methods presented here can be readily adapted to other species for which the input distributions are reasonably approximated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-515
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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