The bean leaf beetle, Cerotoma trifurcata, has become a major pest of soybean throughout its North American range. With a changing climate, there is the potential for this pest to further expand its distribution and become an increasingly severe pest in certain regions. To examine this possibility, we developed bioclimatic envelope models for both the bean leaf beetle, and its most important agronomic host plant, soybean (Glycine max). These two models were combined to examine the potential future pest status of the beetle using climate change projections from multiple general circulation models (GCMs) and climate change scenarios. Despite the broad tolerances of soybean, incorporation of host plant availability substantially decreased the suitable and favourable areas for the bean leaf beetle as compared to an evaluation based solely on the climate envelope of the beetle, demonstrating the importance of incorporating biotic interactions in these predictions. The use of multiple GCM-scenario combinations also revealed differences in predictions depending on the choice of GCM, with scenario choice having less of an impact. While the Norwegian model predicted little northward expansion of the beetle from its current northern range limit of southern Ontario and overall decreases in suitable and favourable areas over time, the Canadian and Russian models predict that much of Ontario and Quebec will become suitable for the beetle in the future, as well as Manitoba under the Russian model. The Russian model also predicts expansion of the suitable and favourable areas for the beetle over time. Two predictions that do not depend on our choice of GCM include a decrease in suitability of the Mississippi Delta region and continued favourability of the southeastern United States.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.