New model shows how crop rotation helps combat plant pests

phys.org | 9/25/2019 | Staff
brunodeuce44brunodeuce44 (Posted by) Level 3
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A new computational model shows how different patterns of crop rotation—planting different crops at different times in the same field—can impact long-term yield when the crops are threatened by plant pathogens. Maria Bargués-Ribera and Chaitanya Gokhale of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany present the model in PLOS Computational Biology.

The continual evolution of plant pathogens poses a threat to agriculture worldwide. Previous research has shown that crop rotation can help improve pest control and soil quality. Other research shows that switching the environment in which a pathogen grows can limit its reproduction and change its evolution. However, these two concepts have been rarely studied together from an evolutionary point of view.

Crop - Rotation - Pests - Bargués-Ribera - Gokhale

To better understand how crop rotation can protect against pests, Bargués-Ribera and Gokhale developed a computational model of the technique that integrates evolutionary theory. They used the model to investigate a scenario in which cash crops (grown for profit) and cover crops (grown to benefit soil) are alternated, but are...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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