Structure of agricultural landscapes and epidemic risk, a demo-genetic approach.

Abstract : Agriculture intensification has improved food production impressively in the past 50 years but this came with an increasing impact on the environment. In particular, modern agriculture has led to the simplification of the environmental structure over vast areas. As a consequence, agro-ecosystems are particularly susceptible to epidemics. The increase of crop genetic diversity is a promising way for reducing the risk of occurrence and development of diseases in crops but the technical and organisational conditions required to manage the genetic resources at this scale have not been established yet. This will require shifting the scale of crop protection investigations from the field to the agricultural landscape. In this PhD thesis we focus on landscape-scale processes and on the potential role of functional diversity in cultivated landscapes to better control plant diseases. We identified three questions: how does a pathogen population spread over a heterogeneous host landscape? How do pathogen genotypes compete in a diversified host population? And, in a longer term, how do pathogen populations evolve in response to host landscape structure? Each of these questions is investigated through the analysis of real data and the development of theoretical approaches. We demonstrate that the composition and the spatial structure of the host landscape greatly influence the pathogen population dynamics and evolution. The recommendations that this work could provide in order to practically manage the genetic resources will depend on the desired aim and will request further collaborative work withthe professional operators.
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Julien Papaïx. Structure of agricultural landscapes and epidemic risk, a demo-genetic approach.. Agricultural sciences. AgroParisTech, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011AGPT0056⟩. ⟨pastel-00737855⟩

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