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Spatial and Spatiotemporal Pattern Analysis of Coconut Lethal Yellowing in Mozambique

April 2010 , Volume 100 , Number  4
Pages  300 - 312

F. Bonnot, H. de Franqueville, and E. LourenÇo

First author: CIRAD, UPR Etiologie Dépérissements, F-34398 Montpellier, France; second author: CIRAD, UPR Génétique palmier, F-34398 Montpellier, France; and third author: GRUPO MADAL, Avenida Julius Nyerere, N. 48 CP 17, Quelimane, Mozambique.

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Accepted for publication 20 November 2009.

Coconut lethal yellowing (LY) is caused by a phytoplasma and is a major threat for coconut production throughout its growing area. Incidence of LY was monitored visually on every coconut tree in six fields in Mozambique for 34 months. Disease progress curves were plotted and average monthly disease incidence was estimated. Spatial patterns of disease incidence were analyzed at six assessment times. Aggregation was tested by the coefficient of spatial autocorrelation of the β-binomial distribution of diseased trees in quadrats. The binary power law was used as an assessment of overdispersion across the six fields. Spatial autocorrelation between symptomatic trees was measured by the BB join count statistic based on the number of pairs of diseased trees separated by a specific distance and orientation, and tested using permutation methods. Aggregation of symptomatic trees was detected in every field in both cumulative and new cases. Spatiotemporal patterns were analyzed with two methods. The proximity of symptomatic trees at two assessment times was investigated using the spatiotemporal BB join count statistic based on the number of pairs of trees separated by a specific distance and orientation and exhibiting the first symptoms of LY at the two times. The semivariogram of times of appearance of LY was calculated to characterize how the lag between times of appearance of LY was related to the distance between symptomatic trees. Both statistics were tested using permutation methods. A tendency for new cases to appear in the proximity of previously diseased trees and a spatially structured pattern of times of appearance of LY within clusters of diseased trees were detected, suggesting secondary spread of the disease.

© 2010 The American Phytopathological Society