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Climate Change and its Impact on Plant Health

Find about out about climate change and its impact on plant health.

Environmental conditions play a key role in defining the function and distribution of plants. Similar to soil and water health, changes in conditions as a result of climate change is known to have negative consequences for plant health.

Climate change-induced pests, diseases and weeds are important factors in the growth rate of crops. Increasing temperatures and precipitation allow pests to have improved winter survival, increased growth, enlarged geographical range, increased infectivity and a competitive edge. In parallel, the plants are rooted in the ground and cannot move. As the conditions become unfavourable, the plant endures stress and reduced resiliency. Moreover, extreme weather conditions weaken plants and make them more susceptible to pests. Temperatures outside of the favorable range are damaging and potentially lethal to crops.

Evaluating the threats which pathogens will pose in the coming decades is challenging as there is many interactions which must be considered. This includes climatic factors (such as temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and atmospheric carbon dioxide) coupled with the crops that are cultivated and the pests and pathogens which attack these hosts in a specific region.

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Farm to Fork: Sustainable Food Production in a Changing Environment

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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