U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version






U.S. government work


Climate change and biological invasions by plant pests (weeds), agriculture and forest insect pests (insects), and microbial pests (plant pathogens) are complex interactive components of global environmental change. The influence of pest distribution and prevalence across landscapes are challenging the conservation and sustainability of natural resources, agricultural production, native biological diversity, and the valuable ecosystem services they provide (Huenneke 1997; Vitousek 1997; Juroszek and von Tiedemann 2013; Ziska and Dukes 2014). Since 2000, numerous scientific studies indicate accelerating climate change is posing substantial risks to natural and managed systems in North America (IPPC 2022). Intensified droughts, largescale wildfires, and increased demands for limited surface and groundwater water supplies in arid regions are threatening the sustainability of irrigated agriculture and contributing to economic losses (Stewart et al. 2020), while extreme rainfall events are contributing to severe riverine and urban flooding across the United States. Climate change affects crops, rangelands, forests, and natural areas directly through the immediate effects of temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and thereby impacts production and management systems. These effects are amplified by climatedriven increases in weed, insect, and plant pathogen problems that further complicate related factors such as water, nutrient, and pest management (Walthall et al. 2013). Changing climates also alter physiological, ecological, and evolutionary processes that can support increased establishment, invasiveness, local spread, and geographic range changes of weeds, insects, and plant pathogens (Chidawanyika et al. 2019; Gallego-Tevár et al. 2019; Ziska et al. 2019) that have cascading effects on soil and water quality, and human livelihoods. Joshua W. Campbell is a research ecologist studying basic insect and pollinator behavior in managed and wild ecosystems at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Pest Management Research Unit in Sidney, Montana. Michael R. Fulcher is a research plant pathologist conducting research to identify pathogenic biocontrol agents at the USDA ARS Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Brenda J. Grewell is a research plant ecologist focusing on understanding the biogeography of invasive plant species and the ecology of invaded systems at the USDA ARS Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Unit in Davis, California. Stephen L. Young is a national program leader in weeds and invasive pests at the USDA ARS Office of National Programs in Beltsville, Maryland. Received October 25, 2022. Thus, a need exists for cross-habitat and landscape/watershed-scale perspectives to improve understanding of mechanisms underlying pest fitness and impacts within and across integrated systems.

Included in

Agriculture Commons