Framework development in plant disease risk assessment and its application

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Abstract

This article reviews recent developments in plant disease risk assessment. The role of risk assessment as an application area in macrophytopathology and its contribution to the development of macroscale disease study are discussed. This article also discusses the concepts and components of risk assessment for different end points and the assessment framework of different potential ranges of a new pathogen: establishment range, suitability range, damage range, and dispersal range. Different end points generate risk information suitable for decision makers at different levels. New insights gained from selected major diseases, especially from risk assessment due to the recent global movement of soybean rust, are presented. The role of pathologists in presenting risk information has extended beyond the professional research domain and has become critical in influencing decision-making, evident by soybean rust in both South and North America. The bias components of risk communication are defined, and different levels of receivers for risk information are identified based on their interpretation capability of risk information, bias potential, and utilization of risk information. Lack of predictability of dispersal potential contributes to uncertainty of risk assessment for airborne diseases. Potential research areas in disease risk assessment are discussed.

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