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Poster: Epidemiology: Climate Change


Quantifying the potential effects of regional climate change on wheat leaf rust disease in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.
M. EL JARROUDI (1), L. Kouadio (2), J. Junk (3), B. Tychon (1), P. Delfosse (3) (1) University of Liege, Belgium; (2) University of Southern Queensland, Australia; (3) Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology, Luxembourg

Climate change will affect wheat crop production both in the main processes of plant growth and development and in the occurrences and severities of plant diseases. We assessed the potential infection periods of wheat leaf rust (WLR) in a changing climate at two climatologically different sites in Luxembourg using a threshold-based model for WLR. Field experiments were conducted during 2003–2013 at the selected sites to test the model. Projected climate data, from a multi model ensemble of regional climate models (spatial resolution 25 km) as well as an additional projection with a higher spatial resolution of 1.3 km, were used to investigate the potential WLR infection periods for two future time spans. The model simulated satisfactorily WLR infection periods at both sites during 2003–2013: probabilities of detection were close to 1 and the critical success index ranged from 0.80 to 0.94. Regional climate projections indicate an increase in temperatures over the 2014-2050 and 2091-2100 periods compared to the reference period 1991–2000. Annual precipitation is also expected to increase slightly in the future. Moreover, trends in increased favourable days of WLR infection would likely occur at both sites due to projected climatic conditions more conducive than in the reference period. Our methodology can be easily transferred to other regions and other fungal diseases by adjusting the meteorological threshold values essential for a specific disease development.