Population dynamics of a non-cultivated biennial plant Tragopogon pratensis infected by the autoecious demicyclic rust fungus Puccinia hysterium

Salama, N.K.G.; van den Bosch, F.; Edwards, G.R.; Heard, M.S.; Jeger, M.J.. 2012 Population dynamics of a non-cultivated biennial plant Tragopogon pratensis infected by the autoecious demicyclic rust fungus Puccinia hysterium. Fungal Ecology, 5 (5). 530-542.

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Population dynamics of the biennial plant Tragopogon pratensis have been monitored in the Park Grass Experiment at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK, over many years. Observations of diseased T. pratensis, systemically infected by the autoecious demicyclic rust Puccinia hysterium, were made over the period 1995–2008, and confirmed an outbreak pattern of dynamics, characterised by an increase to a relatively high incidence followed by a reduction to low almost indiscernible levels. An epidemiological model was developed taking into account the biennial habit of the host plant, and the systemic nature of infection during the winter period, and the partial sterilisation of infected second year plants. Seedling emergence rate and natural mortality between seasons and within season were key parameters affecting host performance. The transmission rate between infected second year plants and susceptible first year seedlings, and the probability that the fungus would survive the winter systemically as mycelium producing aecia and telia on emerging second year plants, were key parameters associated with pathogenicity. Furthermore the possibility of pathogen-induced additional mortality was modelled. The model predicted that outbreak dynamics of T. pratensis would occur with high pathogenicity and medium or high host performance. In the former case the population dynamics would be cyclical with, in some cases, infected plants going to extinction. In the latter case both host and pathogen would go to extinction. The model predicted that the two pathogenicity parameters were critical in determining whether the pathogen would invade a healthy population; whereas pathogen-induced mortality had little influence, a result also obtained in some limited potted plant experiments. Fitting the model to the field data indicated that there was little or no density-dependence in seedling emergence rate, and again that pathogen-induced mortality played little role in the observed population dynamics.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment > BD - 3.2 - Develop and test practical measures to ameliorate the effects ...
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
ISSN: 1754-5048
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The attached document is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Fungal Ecology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Fungal Ecology, 5 (5). 530-542. 10.1016/j.funeco.2011.12.009
Additional Keywords: biennial host plant, epidemiology, Park Grass Experiment, plant population dynamics, Puccinia hysterium, rust fungus, Tragopogon pratensis
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 30 Mar 2012 11:59 +0 (UTC)

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