Submitted to: Plant Disease Epidemiology International Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 12, 2005
Publication Date: April 12, 2005
Citation: Turechek, W. 2005. The practical considerations of scale in plant pathology [abstract]. Plant Disease Epidemiology International Workshop, April 10-15, 2005, Landernau, France. p. 47.
Scale is perhaps one of the vaguest yet most often used words in ecology. The concept of scale has only recently gained recognition as central or unifying theme in ecology. The rise in import of scale in ecology can be attributed to the increase in hypothesis driven, experimental ecology over the last quarter century and the realization that experimental results do not sufficiently explain past or predict subsequent observations in nature. Plant pathologists, who rely heavily on hypothesis-driven research, have confronted these same issues for nearly a century. The common leap from laboratory/glasshouse to the field without sufficient consideration (i.e., scaling) of how outcomes may differ vastly under this change in scale is an unfortunate theme repeated to this day. With few exceptions, this important component of systems, observation, and analysis has been conveniently ' 'unknowingly' is perhaps a better choice of words ' disregarded to the detriment of the hypothesis. In this talk, I will provide a concise presentation and discussion of the important concepts of scale and how they apply to the discipline of plant pathology. Much of what I will present is drawn from the ecological literature, as ecologists are generally at the forefront of advancing the concepts and our knowledge of scale, and from own experiences in researching the strawberry leaf blight pathosystem.