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Spatial Analysis of Lettuce Downy Mildew Using Geostatistics and Geographic Information Systems

February 2001 , Volume 91 , Number  2
Pages  134 - 142

B. M. Wu , A. H. C. van Bruggen , K. V. Subbarao , and G. G. H. Pennings

First, second, and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616; and fourth author: Origin Nederland B.V., Serviceline Baan, Baron van Nagellstraat 140, 3771 LL Barneveld, the Netherlands

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Accepted for publication 29 October 2000.

The epidemiology of lettuce downy mildew has been investigated extensively in coastal California. However, the spatial patterns of the disease and the distance that Bremia lactucae spores can be transported have not been determined. During 1995 to 1998, we conducted several field- and valley-scale surveys to determine spatial patterns of this disease in the Salinas valley. Geostatistical analyses of the survey data at both scales showed that the influence range of downy mildew incidence at one location on incidence at other locations was between 80 and 3,000 m. A linear relationship was detected between semivariance and lag distance at the field scale, although no single statistical model could fit the semi-variograms at the valley scale. Spatial interpolation by the inverse distance weighting method with a power of 2 resulted in plausible estimates of incidence throughout the valley. Cluster analysis in geographic information systems on the interpolated disease incidence from different dates demonstrated that the Salinas valley could be divided into two areas, north and south of Salinas City, with high and low disease pressure, respectively. Seasonal and spatial trends along the valley suggested that the distinction between the downy mildew conducive and nonconducive areas might be determined by environmental factors.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society