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Ecological Modelling
Vol. 307, 2015, Pages: 1–9

Linking cropping system mosaics to disease resistance durability

Laure Hossard, Marie Gosme, Véronique Souchère, Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy

INRA, UMR211 Agronomie, AgroParisTech, F-78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France.


Cultivar resistance plays a major role in current disease management strategies, but its efficacy is usually short-lived unless resistance deployment strategies to ensure resistance durability can be designed. Using a spatially explicit model, we evaluated cropping system mosaics that were designed by stakeholders involved in field agronomic practices to manage phoma stem canker of winter oilseed rape. We simulated pathogen population adaptation to a newly introduced major resistance gene (RlmX) to estimate the durability of the resistance under various scenarios of cropping system mosaics within a small region. Our objective was first to find descriptors of agricultural landscape that are relevant for resistance management and then to study the relationship between cropping practices applied in nearby fields and the genetic structure of the pathogen population in fields cropped with RlmX-cultivars. Key cropping practices were characterized with different metrics for several buffer sizes (100–2000 m) around target fields; and these indicators were used in linear models to predict pathogen evolution. Indicators describing local cultivar composition were very informative; adding information on tillage, but not nitrogen fertilization or fungicide treatment, could marginally increase the goodness of fit. The effects of cropping practices on resistance durability could be shown when the landscape was characterized within 500 m around RlmX-fields. We conclude that, in order to study and ultimately design landscapes promoting resistance durability against phoma stem canker, it is sufficient to take into account a relatively small portion of the landscape around RlmX-cultivars, focusing on cultivar choice and tillage practices of RlmX cultivated fields.

Keywords: Cultivar resistance; Cropping practices; Spatially explicit model; Landscape metrics; Buffer size.

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