Entomology, Department of



Douglas Lawton, NC State UniversityFollow
Anders S. Huseth, NC State UniversityFollow
George G. Kennedy, NC State University
Amy C. Morey, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
William D. Hutchison, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Dominic D. Reisig, NC State University
Seth J. Dorman, USDA Agricultural Research Service
De Shae Dillard, NC State University
Robert C. Venette, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station
Russell L. Groves, University of Wisconsin-Madison
John J. Adamczyk, USDA Agricultural Research Service
Izailda Barbosa Dos Santos, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Tracey Baute, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Sebe Brown, University of Tennessee
Eric Burkness, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Ashley Dean, Iowa State University
Galen P. Dively, University of Maryland, College Park
Hélène B. Doughty, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Shelby J. Fleischer, Pennsylvania State University
Jessica Green, College of Agricultural Sciences
Jeremy K. Greene, Clemson University
Krista Hamilton, Pest Survey Program
Erin Hodgson, Iowa State University
Thomas Hunt, University of Nebraska–LincolnFollow
David Kerns, Texas A&M University
Billy Rogers Leonard, LSU Agricultural Center
Sean Malone, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Fred Musser, Mississippi State University
David Owens, Carvel Research & Education Center
John C. Palumbo, The University of Arizona Yuma
Silvana Paula-Moraes, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Julie A. Peterson, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Ricardo Ramirez, Utah State University
Silvia I. Rondon, College of Agricultural Sciences
Tracy L. Schilder, Pest Survey Program
Abby Seaman, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Lori Spears, Utah State University
Scott D. Stewart, University of Tennessee
Sally Taylor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Tyler Towles, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center

Date of this Version



PNAS 2022 Vol. 119 No. 37 e2203230119



Copyright © 2022 the Author(s). Published by PNAS. This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).


Overwintering success is an important determinant of arthropod populations that must be considered as climate change continues to influence the spatiotemporal population dynamics of agricultural pests. Using a long-term monitoring database and biologically relevant overwintering zones, we modeled the annual and seasonal population dynamics of a common pest, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), based on three overwintering suitability zones throughout North America using four decades of soil temperatures: the southern range (able to persist through winter), transitional zone (uncertain overwintering survivorship), and northern limits (unable to survive winter). Our model indicates H. zea population dynamics are hierarchically structured with continental-level effects that are partitioned into three geographic zones. Seasonal populations were initially detected in the southern range, where they experienced multiple large population peaks. All three zones experienced a final peak between late July (southern range) and mid-August to mid-September (transitional zone and northern limits). The southern range expanded by 3% since 1981 and is projected to increase by twofold by 2099 but the areas of other zones are expected to decrease in the future. These changes suggest larger populations may persist at higher latitudes in the future due to reduced low-temperature lethal events during winter. Because H. zea is a highly migratory pest, predicting when populations accumulate in one region can inform synchronous or lagged population development in other regions. We show the value of combining long-term datasets, remotely sensed data, and laboratory findings to inform forecasting of insect pests.

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