According to a recent study, climate change will raise the burden of agricultural diseases in some areas of the world while decreasing it in others.
Crop disease effect is expected to decrease in tropical places such as Brazil, Sub-Saharan Africa, India, and Southeast Asia as the globe warms.
Disease risk will increase at higher latitudes (far from the equator), with Europe and China "especially vulnerable."
Crop Disease Effect
According to models, rising temperatures will increase agricultural production at high latitudes while having little or no effect in the tropics.
The study also indicates that the mix of pathogens (diseases) impacting crops in the United States, Europe, and China is expected to vary significantly.
Professor Daniel Bebber of Exeter's Department of Biosciences and the Global Systems Institute remarked, "Plant diseases already inflict severe output losses internationally."
"Crop pests and diseases are migrating away from the equator, according to prior studies, and this new analysis forecasts pathogen risks in the following decades.
"Climate-driven production improvements in temperate zones would be mitigated by the higher cost of crop protection, according to our findings.
Spreading the Pathogens
"Pathogens are expected to reach all locations where circumstances are appropriate for them due to rapid worldwide spread through international trade and transportation."
The temperature has a significant impact on the rate of infection by plant pathogens.
For 80 fungal and oomycete crop diseases, the study used current data on minimum, optimal, and maximum infection temperatures.
The authors used three crop and four global climate models to compare current yields with future (2061-80) yield estimates for 12 main crops under the RCP6.0 climate pathway.
One of the study's co-authors, Professor Sarah Gurr, believes that the shifting pathogen mix in each location might significantly influence.
"Plant breeding and agrochemical firms concentrate on certain illnesses," she explained.
"Wheat breeders in the United Kingdom, for example, concentrate on resistance to Septoria tritici blotch, yellow rust, and brown rust - but those risks might shift."
"Agriculture must plan and prepare for the future," said co-author Thomas Chaloner, a Ph.D. student supported by the South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP).
"We only have a few decades, and crop breeding takes time, so we need to think about disease resistance that hasn't yet come.
Studying Plant Diseases
"Many diseases, particularly those now occurring in tropical regions, are severely understudied.
"We must invest in studying these illnesses, which are likely to become more widespread in the world's main crop-growing regions."
SWBio DTP, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), CIFAR, and Utrecht University contributed to the research.
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