A gravity model for the spread of a pollinator-borne plant pathogen

Matthew J. Ferrari, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Jessica L. Partain, Janis Antonovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many pathogens of plants are transmitted by arthropod vectors whose movement between individual hosts is influenced by foraging behavior. Insect foraging has been shown to depend on both the quality of hosts and the distances between hosts. Given the spatial distribution of host plants and individual variation in quality, vector foraging patterns may therefore produce predictable variation in exposure to pathogens. We develop a "gravity" model to describe the spatial spread of a vector-borne plant pathogen from underlying models of insect foraging in response to host quality using the pollinator-borne smut fungus Microbotryum violaceum as a case study. We fit the model to spatially explicit time series of M. violaceum transmission in replicate experimental plots of the white campion Silene latifolia. The gravity model provides a better fit than a mean field model or a model with only distance-dependent transmission. The results highlight the importance of active vector foraging in generating spatial patterns of disease incidence and for pathogen-mediated selection for floral traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-303
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume168
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

Fingerprint

pollinating insects
pollinator
gravity
plant pathogens
pathogen
foraging
Ustilago violacea
Silene latifolia
insect models
host quality
insect
pathogens
floral trait
disease incidence
individual variation
arthropods
foraging behavior
time series analysis
host plants
arthropod

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Ferrari, Matthew J. ; Bjørnstad, Ottar N. ; Partain, Jessica L. ; Antonovics, Janis. / A gravity model for the spread of a pollinator-borne plant pathogen. In: American Naturalist. 2006 ; Vol. 168, No. 3. pp. 294-303.
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A gravity model for the spread of a pollinator-borne plant pathogen. / Ferrari, Matthew J.; Bjørnstad, Ottar N.; Partain, Jessica L.; Antonovics, Janis.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 168, No. 3, 01.09.2006, p. 294-303.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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