The effect of competition on the control of invading plant pathogens

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Sharp, R.T., Van Den Bosch, F. and Shaw, M. W. 2020. The effect of competition on the control of invading plant pathogens. Journal of Applied Ecology. 57 (7), pp. 1403-1412.

AuthorsSharp, R.T., Van Den Bosch, F. and Shaw, M. W.

1. New invading pathogen strains must compete with endemic pathogen strains to emerge and spread. As disease control measures are often non-specific, i.e. they do not distinguish between strains, applying control not only affects the invading pathogen strain but the endemic as well. We hypothesise that the control of the invasive strain could be compromised due to the non-specific nature of the control.
2. A spatially-explicit model, describing the East African cassava mosaic virus-Uganda strain (EACMV-UG) outbreak, is used to evaluate methods of controlling both disease incidence and spread of invading pathogen strains in pathosystems with and without an endemic pathogen strain present.
3. We find that while many newly introduced or intensified control measures (such as resistant cultivars or roguing) decrease the expected incidence, they have the unintended consequence of increasing, or at least not reducing, the speed with which the invasive pathogen spreads geographically. We identify which controls cause this effect and methods in which these controls may be applied to prevent it.
4. We found that the spatial spread of the invading strain is chiefly governed by the incidence at the wave front. Control can therefore be applied, or intensified, once the wave front has passed without increasing the pathogen’s rate of spread.
5. When trade of planting material occurs, it is possible that the planting material is already infected. The only forms of control in this study that reduces the speed of geographic spread, regardless of the presence of an endemic strain, are those that reduce the amount of trade and the distance over which trade takes place.
6. Synthesis and applications. The best control strategy depends on the presence of competing endemic strains. Applying or intensifying control can slow the rate of spread when absent but increase it if present. Imposing trade restrictions before the epidemic has reached a given area and intensifying other control methods only once the wave front has passed is the most effective way of both slowing down spread and controlling incidence when a competing endemic strain is present and is the safest approach when its presence is unknown.

KeywordsBemisia tabaci ; Cassava mosaic disease; Competitive release; Disease control; Dispersal; Invasive species; Trade; Wave of advance; Dispersal
Year of Publication2020
JournalJournal of Applied Ecology
Journal citation57 (7), pp. 1403-1412
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Natural Environment Research Council
Funder project or codeASSIST - Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems
Delivering Sustainable Systems (SS) [ISPG]
BBSRC Strategic Programme in Smart Crop Protection
Publisher's version
Copyright license
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online28 Feb 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted25 Feb 2020

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