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Utility of epidemic models

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Authors: J. Segarra Bofarull
Issue: 98V-2 (108-118)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Epidemiology, modelling, growth curves, theoretical models, disease simulators

Mathematical models are important tools in crop protection. In this article, different types of models developed in plant disease control are showed and analyzed.
Statistical or empirical models are especially useful to forecast future disease development, establish infection periods and determine the necessity for spray treatments. Theoretical models provide a conceptual framework for organising and co‑ordinating empirical researches and address strategic questions of control. In this group, growth curves are emphasised for their great contribution to the comparison of epidemics and patterns and the analysis of effects of control measures on the development of epidemics. Finally, disease simulators contain great complexity and realism and their primary use is to constrain or manipulate the pathosystem to produce a desirable disease development.

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