Annual Review of Phytopathology (2015) 53, 591-611

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David G. Schmale III and Shane D. Ross (2015)
Highways in the sky: Scales of atmospheric transport of plant pathogens
Annual Review of Phytopathology 53, 591-611
Abstract: Many high-risk plant pathogens are transported over long distances (hundreds of meters to thousands of kilometers) in the atmosphere. The ability to track the movement of these pathogens in the atmosphere is essential for forecasting disease spread and establishing effective quarantine measures. Here, we discuss the scales of atmospheric dispersal of plant pathogens along a transport continuum (pathogen scale, farm scale, regional scale, and continental scale). Growers can use risk information at each of these dispersal scales to assist in making plant disease management decisions, such as the timely application of appropriate pesticides. Regional- and continental-scale atmospheric features known as Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs) may shuffle plant pathogens along highways in the sky. A promising new method relying on overlapping turbulent back-trajectories of pathogen-laden parcels of air may assist in localizing potential inoculum sources, informing local and/or regional management efforts such as conservation tillage. The emergence of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs, or drones) to sample plant pathogens in the lower atmosphere, coupled with source localization efforts, could aid in mitigating the spread of high-risk plant pathogens.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
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population dynamics/ epidemiology

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