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Scientists warn of insect pest outbreaks and reduced wheat yields

The study, published today in the journal, Molecular Ecology, provides the first experimental evidence of how the interactions between agricultural plants, greenflies and tiny parasitoid wasps are affected in a world where temperatures are increased by 1.4°C.

Scientists at Newcastle University and the University of Hull have also shown that a rise in temperature drives changes in the crop, altering the growing patterns of the wheat that produced fewer, lighter seeds.

New approach

Dr. Darren Evans, Reader in Ecology and Conservation at Newcastle University, and the leader of the study, said the research findings provide a further understanding into the impact of climate-change.

He said: "There have been a number of recent high-profile studies that have modelled the long-term effects of climate-change on crops using computers, but there are surprisingly few studies that have tested this using field experiments on farms.

"Most models examine the impacts on crop yields, but often fail to take into account that crops are embedded in a wider network of interactions with organisms that can also directly and indirectly impact upon the crop as a result of climate-change.

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