Concepts, approaches, and avenues for modelling crop health and crop losses

Savary, Serge and Nelson, Andrew D. and Djurle, Annika and Esker, Paul D. and Sparks, Adam H. ORCID: and Amorim, Lilian and Filho, Armamando Bergamin and Caffi, Tito and Castilla, Nancy and Garrett, Karen and McRoberts, Neil and Rossi, Vitorrio and Yuen, Jonathan and Willocquet, Laetitia (2018) Concepts, approaches, and avenues for modelling crop health and crop losses. European Journal of Agronomy, 100. pp. 4-18. ISSN 1161-0301


This article addresses the modelling of crop health and its impact on crop losses, with a special emphasis on plant diseases. Plant disease epidemiological models have many different shapes. We propose a summary of modelling structures for plant disease epidemics, which stem from the concepts of infection rate, of site, of basic infection rate corrected for removals (Rc), and of basic reproductive number (R0). Crop losses, the quantitative and qualitative impacts of diseases and pests on crop performances, can be expressed along many different dimensions. We focus on yield loss, defined as the difference between the attainable yield and the actual yield, in a production situation. The modelling of yield loss stems from the concept of damage mechanism, which can be applied to the wide range of organisms (including pathogens, weeds, arthropods, or nematodes) that may negatively affect crop growth and performances. Damage mechanisms are incorporated in crop growth models to simulate yield losses. In both fields, epidemiology and crop loss, we discuss the process of model development, including model simplification. We emphasize model simplification as a main avenue towards model genericity. This is especially relevant to enable addressing the diversity of crop pathogens and pests. We also discuss the usefulness of considering differing evaluation criteria depending on the stage of model development, and thus, depending on modelling objectives. We illustrate progress made on two global key crops where model simplification has been critical; rice and wheat. Modelling pests and diseases, and of the yield losses they cause on these two crops, lead us to propose the concept of crop health syndrome as a set of injury functions, each representing the dynamics of an injury (such as, for example, the time-course of an epidemic). Crop health in a given context can be represented by the set of such injury functions, which in turn can be used as drivers for crop loss models.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Crop Health (24 Mar 2014 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Crop Health (24 Mar 2014 -)
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 07:11
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2019 04:20
Uncontrolled Keywords: crop health syndrome; crop loss; yield loss
Fields of Research (2008): 06 Biological Sciences > 0607 Plant Biology > 060704 Plant Pathology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
Fields of Research (2020): 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3108 Plant biology > 310805 Plant pathology
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300409 Crop and pasture protection (incl. pests, diseases and weeds)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960403 Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
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