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Journal of Botany
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 938218, 9 pages
Review Article

Controlling Cyclic Epidemics on the Crops of the Agroecosystems: Articulate all the Dimensions in the Formalisation, but Look for a Local Solution

INRA, UMR1349 IGEPP, 35653 Le Rheu, France

Received 30 September 2011; Revised 27 January 2012; Accepted 10 February 2012

Academic Editor: Gaoming Jiang

Copyright © 2012 Lydia Bousset and Anne-Marie Chèvre. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In agroecosystems, crop yield is reduced by epidemics. At the field scale, epidemiology succeeded knowledge percolation across theory, empirical studies, and recommendations to actors. Achieving similar success at the landscape level requires understanding of ecosystems. The aim of this manuscript is to formalize cyclic epidemics, in which development depends on interaction in space and in time between host plants, pathogens, environment, and human actions. In agroecosystems, human actions exacerbate homogeneities alternating with sharp discontinuities on scales of time and space. The dynamics of cyclic epidemics takes discontinuities into account. This allows decomposing control at the field and at the landscape scales into goals to reach, corresponding to the components of the pluriannual dynamics of epidemics. Articulating disciplinary concepts open the prospect of optimization by identification of one’s potential contributions. Finally, we propose that cyclic epidemics could be controlled by looking for a local solution, in a decentralized manner.