Metapopulation in agriculture and disease dynamics
In agro-ecosystems, epidemics reduce crop yield. Disease development depends on interactions in time and space between host plants, pathogens, the environment and humans. There is an urgent need to reconsider disease control tactics by linking ecological and evolutionary concepts at the landscape scale, as achieved for natural ecosystems. The aim of our work is to adjust the geographic mosaic of coevolution theory between hosts and pathogens to agro-ecosystems. In agro-ecosystems, adaptation dynamics at the landscape scale depend jointly on annual epidemics, the flow between demes, and human actions, which exacerbate homogeneities in time and space. We describe a framework to take into account these direct and indirect human actions on host agro-metapopulations, which influence the size and composition of pathogen agro-metapopulation demes. By linking disciplinary concepts it becomes possible to optimize the stabilization of disease control efficacy by designing management strategies to selectively apply evolutionary costs. At present, the pathogen agro-metapopulation adapts to its host and the other way around does not occur. However, these evolutionary costs can be used to maintain the pathogen agro-metapopulation locally non-adapted to the host agro-metapopulation. The use of this framework will allow crop protection approaches to be redesigned by modifying the host agro-metapopulation dynamics depending on the observed state of the pathogen agro-metapopulation.
See this example with Quinoa as superfood:
Murphy K., Bazile D., Kellogg J., Rahmanian M. 2016. Development of a worldwide consortium on evolutionary participatory breeding in quinoa. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7 (608) : 7 p.