Relationships between soil temperatures and the potato cyst nematode (PCN) life cycle and population multiplication were investigated to understand the risks to potato crops from PCN in relation to increasing soil temperatures associated with climate change, and to support development of the United Kingdom Potato Council`s PCN management model. The initial (hatching) part of the PCN life cycle was examined for both Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida over a range of temperatures, and the responses are then considered in relation to actual soil temperatures during the potato growing season in different sites in the United Kingdom. Hatching was stimulated by potato root diffusate over a temperature range from 5–29ºC and was monitored for 5 weeks. The greatest cumulative percentage hatch of second stage juveniles (J2) occurred between 15 and 27ºC for G. rostochiensis and 13–25ºC for G. pallida. Globodera rostochiensis hatched more quickly and had a delayed hatch at ≥25ºC while G. pallida was more efficient at these higher temperatures. From these observations, it is likely that climate change, and associated increases in soil temperatures, will result in increased rates and amounts of hatching for both species, leading to increased population levels on susceptible hosts and damage to potato crops. Currently, regions of the United Kingdom with warm soil temperatures are also expected to have high levels of hatching of PCN, and therefore greater multiplication resulting in greater challenges in the management of these nematodes in infested land.
climate change; modelling; population dynamics; potato cyst nematodes; Solanum tuberosum