, Volume 135, Issue 3, pp 453-454,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 11 Oct 2012

Foreword: plant and canopy architecture impact on disease epidemiology and pest development

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Developing and implementing alternatives to the ‘pesticide only’ approach requires improvements in current pest control methods (using Decision Support Systems, longer rotations, more robust cultivars, mixed crops, crop management…), but also the generation of new knowledge that can be put to use in integrated and innovative crop production systems. Innovative studies are now needed that place the plant at the centre of the crop protection system; and, to do so, analyse how plant architectural traits can be used to limit or suppress disease epidemics.

This topic is not new: it was indeed an important field of research before the advent of the ‘pesticide only’ approach that has dominated the practise of plant protection since the 1970s. Today there is a renewed impetus, firstly because of the societal pressure to develop environmentally friendlier pest control strategies, but also thanks to the advances in experimental and modelling activities which now allow truly interdisciplinary work