Can rainfall be a useful predictor of epidemic risk across temporal and spatial scales?

Del Ponte, Emerson M. and Sparks, Adam H. and Cunniffe, Nik J. and Madden, Laurence V. (2018) Can rainfall be a useful predictor of epidemic risk across temporal and spatial scales? In: 11th International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP 2018): Plant Health in a Global Economy, 29 July - 3 August 2018, Boston, MA, United States.

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Plant disease epidemics are largely driven by within-season weather variables when inoculum is not limiting. Commonly, predictors in risk assessment models are based on the interaction of temperature and wetness-related variables, relationships which are determined experimentally. There is an increasing interest in providing within-season or inter-seasonal risk information at the region or continent scale, which commonly use models developed for a smaller scale. Hence, the scale matching dilemma that challenges epidemiologists and meteorologists: upscale models or downscale weather data? Successful applications may be found in both cases, which should be supported by validation datasets whenever possible, to prove the usefulness of the approach. For some diseases, rainfall is key for inoculum dispersal and, in warmer regions (e.g., tropics) where temperature is less limiting for epidemics, rainfall extends wetness periods. The drawbacks of using rainfall at small scales relate to its discrete nature and high spatial variability. However, for pre- or early-season predictions at large spatial scales sources of reasonably accurate rainfall summaries are available and may prove useful. The availability of disease datasets at various scales allows the development and evaluation of new models to be applied at the correct scale. We will showcase examples and discuss the usefulness of rainfall as key variable to predict soybean rust and wheat scab from field to region.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Keynote)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Crop Health
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2019 02:56
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2019 03:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: plant diseases; rainfall
Fields of Research : 06 Biological Sciences > 0607 Plant Biology > 060704 Plant Pathology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
Socio-Economic Objective: 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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