Mapping European canker spatial pattern and disease progression in apples using GIS, Tasman, New Zealand
Keywords:Apple, Disease progression, European Canker, GIS, hot-spots, spatial, temporal, Neonectria ditissima
European canker (EC), caused by Neonectria ditissima, is an important disease in apple-producing regions in New Zealand. In order to improve plant protection, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to map plant disease location and severity in agricultural settings. Data were compiled from apple growers in Tasman, New Zealand, to investigate EC distribution over 4 years, for the period 2015–2018. ArcGIS software, including the Spatial Analyst, Interpolation and Geospatial statistics toolboxes, was used to map EC incidence at the spatial scale of orchard blocks, which allowed the identification of disease hot-spots. A clustered spatial pattern of disease was detected every year and areas with higher risk of EC were identified within the region. The spatial patterns detected were related to disease pressure over time for different apple cultivars. The use of GIS provides a platform for analysing and visually communicating disease patterns over time. Investigating disease spatial pattern allows the inference of spatial processes and further hypothesis generation to understand the pathogen.