To ensure future food security, it is crucial to understand how potential climate change scenarios will affect agriculture. One key area of interest is how climatic factors, both in the near- and the long-term future, could affect fungal infection of crops and mycotoxin production by these fungi. The objective of this paper is to review the potential impact of climate change on three important mycotoxins that contaminate maize in the United States, and to highlight key research questions and approaches for understanding this impact. Recent climate change analyses that pertain to agriculture and in particular to mycotoxigenic fungi are discussed, with respect to the climatic factors – temperature and relative humidity – at which they thrive and cause severe damage. Additionally, we discuss how climate change will likely alter the life cycles and geographic distribution of insects that are known to facilitate fungal infection of crops.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/richard_hellmich/88/