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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The effect of landscape pattern on the optimal eradication zone of an invading epidemic

item Parnell, S.
item Gilligan, C. A.
item Gottwald, Timothy
item Cunniffe, N.
item Van Den Bosch, F.

Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2009
Publication Date: 7/1/2009
Citation: Parnell, S., Gilligan, C., Gottwald, T.R., Cunniffe, N., Van Den Bosch, F. 2009. The effect of landscape pattern on the optimal eradication zone of an invading epidemic. Phytopathology. Vol. 100, No. 7:638-644.

Interpretive Summary: Eradication of pathogens that cause diseases of crops and or dooryard plants of the same species can be very complex and have limited success when the pathogen is well established. This paper we demonstrate a model that can be used to optimize eradication procedures in various ways to improve the chances of success. This method is very important to regulatory agencies and commodity groups who are faced with trying to eradicate such pathogens. The method also provides means for quicker eradication or eradication that is somewhat slower and therefore more tolerable to the commercial industry or residential owners, but requires more time.

Technical Abstract: A number of high profile eradication attempts on plant pathogens have recently been attempted in response to the increasing number of introductions of economically significant non-native pathogen species. Eradication programs involve the removal of a large proportion of a host population and can thus lead to significant social and economic costs. In this paper we use a spatially-explicit stochastic model to simulate an invading epidemic and show that it is possible to identify an optimal control radius i.e. one that minimises the number of hosts removed during eradication. However, by simulating the epidemic and eradication processes in multiple landscapes, we demonstrate that the optimal radius depends critically on landscape pattern (i.e. the spatial configuration of hosts within the landscape). In particular we find that the optimal radius, and also the number of host removals associated with it, increases with both the level of aggregation and the density of hosts in the landscape. The result is of practical significance and demonstrates that the location of an invading epidemic should be a key consideration in the design of future eradication strategies.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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