A set of daily weather data simulations for 1961 to 2050 were used to calculate past and future trends in pest and disease pressure in potato cropping systems at three agro-ecologically distinct sites in South Africa: the Sandveld, the Eastern Free State and Limpopo. The diseases and pests modelled were late blight, early blight and brown spot, blackleg and soft rot, root-knot nematodes and the peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae (as indicator of Potato virus Y and Potato leaf roll virus). The effects of climate on trends in relative development rates of these pathogens and pests were modelled for each pathogen and pest using a set of quantitative parameters, which included specific temperature and moisture requirements for population growth, compiled from literature. Results showed that the cumulative relative development rate (cRDR) of soft rot and blackleg, root-knot nematodes and M. persicae will increase over the 90-year period in the areas under consideration. The cRDR of early blight and brown spot is likely to increase in the wet winter and wet summer crops of the Sandveld and Eastern Free State, respectively, but remains unchanged in the dry summer and dry winter crops of the Sandveld and Limpopo, respectively. Climate change will decrease the cRDR of late blight in all of the cropping systems modelled, except in the wet winter crop of the Sandveld. These results help to set priorities in research and breeding, specifically in relation to management strategies for diseases and pests.
- late-blight epidemics
- transmission efficiency
- soil texture
- elevated co2
van der Waals, J. E., Krüger, K., Franke, A. C., Haverkort, A. J., & Steyn, J. M. (2013). Climate Change and Potato Production in Contrasting South African Agro-Ecosystems 3. Effects on Relative Development Rates of Selected Pathogens and Pests. Potato Research, 56(1), 67-84. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11540-013-9231-3