Predicting the Response of Insect Pests and Diseases of Arabica Coffee to Climate Change along an Altitudinal Gradient in Mt. Elgon Region, Uganda
Kagezi, H. Godfrey; Kucel Patrick; Kobusinge Judith; Olango D. Nicholas1 Nakibuule Lilian; & Wagoire, W. William

Recent studies have predicted an increase in temperature due to climate change which is likely to upsurge pressure from pests and diseases on Arabica coffee, Coffea arabica. Under the future climate change scenarios, elevation gradients can be used as analogues for global warming. Basing on this, we therefore determined the incidence and damage of Arabica coffee pests and diseases along an altitudinal gradient in Mt. Elgon region in order to predict their possible impact under these scenarios. Seven insect pest species were recorded - with the white coffee stem borers (WCSB) having the highest incidence of 13%. On the other hand, three diseases were recorded - with coffee leaf rust (CLR) having the highest mean severity of 1.9 on a 1-5 scale. Multiple regression analysis showed that the incidence of only WCSB decreased significantly (p=0.0169) with increasing altitude. This implies that under the future climate change scenarios, the impact of this insect pest on Arabica coffee will increase with increase in temperature. Therefore, adaptation mechanisms for climate adversaries such as inter-planting with shade trees should be advanced. However, these tree species should not compete with the coffee as well as promoting pests and diseases.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v7n1a14