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Hungry Planet: Stories of Plant Diseases

Chapter Three. Student Resources

Coffee and Rubber: Monocultures and Quarantines

People determined long ago that the temporary segregation, or quarantine, of sick people helped protect the healthy individuals. We now know that the first introduction of an exotic pathogen into a population with little resistance is very dangerous. Some of the most significant plant disease epidemics have been caused by introduced pathogens. Famous examples include coffee rust and South American leaf blight of rubber. Today many countries and regions have elaborate plant quarantine systems to monitor pests and pathogens to protect our plants.

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