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Title: Climate Change: Life history adaptation by a global whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, with rising temperature and carbon dioxide

item Simmons, Alvin

Submitted to: International Whitefly Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2013
Publication Date: 5/13/2013
Citation: Simmons, A.M., Abd-Rabou, S., Curnutte, L.B. 2013. Climate Change: Life history adaptation by a global whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, with rising temperature and carbon dioxide. First International Whitefly Symposium. Kolymbari, Crete, Greece, 20-24 May 2013. p 47.

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Introduction: Climate change can have direct and indirect impacts on living organisms. A rise in ambient temperature and elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations due to global warming may have assorted impacts on arthropods such as altered life cycles, altered reproductive patterns, and changes in distribution. Climate change may result in arthropods that are more adapted to an environment of increased temperature and increased levels of CO2. The mild winters of coastal South Carolina in the southeastern region of the United States allows the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), to survive year round in the field. A study was conducted to assess the effect of rising temperature and rising CO2 levels on selected life history parameters of B. tabaci, a global pest which feeds on over 1,000 species of agricultural and wild plants. Materials and Methods: Experiments were performed in the laboratory and in the field. Three populations of whiteflies were established under three climate conditions (25, 28, and 33oC) in the laboratory. The whiteflies were initially from a common colony, and they were since allowed to go through several generations in a given environment before their performances were assessed. Rate of oviposition, immature survival, and adult body size were then compared for all populations at three temperature regimes and at two levels of CO2. Overwintering experiments in field cages were conducted with whiteflies which originated from the same population, but were relocated to three different climate zones. Results and conclusions: The data suggest that certain life history parameters of B. tabaci may be positively associated with increasing temperatures. Conversely, body size was significantly negatively correlated with increases in temperature. This research aids in determining the impact climate change imposes upon the life history of B. tabaci, and contributes to the growing body of literature involving climate change and arthropods.