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Crop pathogen emergence and evolution in agro-ecological landscapes

Abstract : Remnant areas hosting natural vegetation in agricultural landscapes can impact the disease epidemiology and evolutionary dynamics of crop pathogens. However, the potential consequences for crop diseases of the composition, the spatial configuration and the persistence time of the agro-ecological interface – the area where crops and remnant vegetation are in contact – have been poorly studied. Here, we develop a demographic-genetic simulation model to study how the spatial and temporal distribution of remnant wild vegetation patches embedded in an agricultural landscape can drive the emergence of a crop pathogen and its subsequent specialisation on the crop host. We found that landscape structures that promoted larger pathogen populations on the wild host facilitated the emergence of a crop pathogen but such landscape structures also reduced the potential for the pathogen population to adapt to the crop. In addition, the evolutionary trajectory of the pathogen population was determined by interactions between the factors describing the landscape structure and those describing the pathogen life-histories. Our study contribute to a better understanding of how the shift of land-use patterns in agricultural landscapes might influence crop diseases to provide predictive tools to evaluate management practices.
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Julien Papaix, Jeremy Burdon, Jiasui Zhan, Peter H. Thrall. Crop pathogen emergence and evolution in agro-ecological landscapes. Evolutionary Applications, Blackwell, 2015, 8 (4), pp.385-402. ⟨10.1111/eva.12251⟩. ⟨hal-02640601⟩

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