Virus-based biological control facing climate change
Abstract: Climate change will probably induce changes in the use of virus-based biocontrol agents at various levels. Climatic changes will affect host development, indirectly modifying virus behaviour. Invasive species will constitute potential new niches for virus populations, but also may reduce their traditional hosts. Introduction of new viruses adapted to such invasive species in their new geographic areas might be an appropriate strategy. Variation in UV radiation, in rain or wind will directly affect the survival or the availability of the virus for the appropriate hosts. Variation in temperatures influence insect host development, but also plant development, and will indirectly affect virus/host relationships.
Instructions of use, timing and doses should be re-evaluated in function of new climate parameters. In addition, formulation changes might be required to optimise the persistence of virus-based products in new environmental conditions.