The global burden of pathogens and pests on major food crops

Serge Savary, Laetitia Willocquet, Sarah Jane Pethybridge, Paul Esker, Neil McRoberts, Andy Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Crop pathogens and pests reduce the yield and quality of agricultural production. They cause substantial economic losses and reduce food security at household, national and global levels. Quantitative, standardized information on crop losses is difficult to compile and compare across crops, agroecosystems and regions. Here, we report on an expert-based assessment of crop health, and provide numerical estimates of yield losses on an individual pathogen and pest basis for five major crops globally and in food security hotspots. Our results document losses associated with 137 pathogens and pests associated with wheat, rice, maize, potato and soybean worldwide. Our yield loss (range) estimates at a global level and per hotspot for wheat (21.5% (10.1–28.1%)), rice (30.0% (24.6–40.9%)), maize (22.5% (19.5–41.1%)), potato (17.2% (8.1–21.0%)) and soybean (21.4% (11.0–32.4%)) suggest that the highest losses are associated with food-deficit regions with fast-growing populations, and frequently with emerging or re-emerging pests and diseases. Our assessment highlights differences in impacts among crop pathogens and pests and among food security hotspots. This analysis contributes critical information to prioritize crop health management to improve the sustainability of agroecosystems in delivering services to societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-439
Number of pages10
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

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food crops
pathogen
pests
crop
food
pathogens
crops
food security
agroecosystems
agricultural ecosystem
potato
soybean
potatoes
soybeans
rice
wheat
maize
corn
crop losses
critical analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Savary, S., Willocquet, L., Pethybridge, S. J., Esker, P., McRoberts, N., & Nelson, A. (2019). The global burden of pathogens and pests on major food crops. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 3(3), 430-439. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0793-y
Savary, Serge ; Willocquet, Laetitia ; Pethybridge, Sarah Jane ; Esker, Paul ; McRoberts, Neil ; Nelson, Andy. / The global burden of pathogens and pests on major food crops. In: Nature Ecology and Evolution. 2019 ; Vol. 3, No. 3. pp. 430-439.
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Savary, S, Willocquet, L, Pethybridge, SJ, Esker, P, McRoberts, N & Nelson, A 2019, 'The global burden of pathogens and pests on major food crops' Nature Ecology and Evolution, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 430-439. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0793-y

The global burden of pathogens and pests on major food crops. / Savary, Serge; Willocquet, Laetitia; Pethybridge, Sarah Jane; Esker, Paul; McRoberts, Neil; Nelson, Andy.

In: Nature Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 3, No. 3, 01.03.2019, p. 430-439.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Savary S, Willocquet L, Pethybridge SJ, Esker P, McRoberts N, Nelson A. The global burden of pathogens and pests on major food crops. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 2019 Mar 1;3(3):430-439. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0793-y