Shade Effects on the Dispersal of Airborne Hemileia vastatrix Uredospores
Phytopathology Vol. 106 N°. 6, Pág. 572-580
Hemileia vastatrix caused a severe epidemic in Central America in 2012-13. The gradual development of that epidemic on nearly a continental scale suggests that dispersal at different scales played a significant role. Shade has been proposed as a way of reducing uredospore dispersal. The effect of shade (two strata: Erythrina poeppigiana below and Chloroleucon eurycyclum above) and full sun on H. vastatrix dispersal was studied with Burkard traps in relation to meteorological records. Annual and daily patterns of dispersal were observed, with peaks of uredospore capture obtained during wet seasons and in the early afternoon. A maximum of 464 uredospores in one day (in 14.4 m(3) of air) was recorded in October 2014. Interactions between shade/full sun and meteorological conditions were found. Rainfall, possibly intercepted by tree cover and redistributed by raindrops of higher kinetic energy, was the main driver of uredospore dispersal under shade. Wind gusts reversed this effect, probably by inhibiting water accumulation on leaves. Wind gusts also promoted dispersal under dry conditions in full sun, whereas they had no effect under shaded conditions, probably because the canopy blocked the wind. Our results indicate the importance of managing shade cover differentially in rainy versus dry periods to control the dispersal of airborne H. vastatrix uredospores.