Plant pathology is a science that studies plant diseases and attempts to improve the chances for survival of plants when they are faced with unfavourable environmental conditions and parasitic microorganisms that cause disease.
- Wherein a diseased patch of vegetation or individual plants are isolated from other, healthy growth. Specimens may be destroyed or relocated into a greenhouse for treatment/study. Another option is to avoid introduction of harmful non-native organisms by controlling all human traffic and activity although legislation and enforcement are key in order to ensure lasting effectiveness.
- Farming in some societies is kept on a small scale, tended by peoples whose culture includes farming traditions going back to ancient times. (An example of such traditions would be lifelong training in techniques of plot terracing, weather anticipation and response, fertilization, grafting, seed care, and dedicated gardening.) Plants that are intently monitored often benefit not only from active external protection, but a greater overall vigor as well. While primitive in the sense of being the most labor-intensive solution by far, where practical or necessary it is more than adequate.
- Plant resistance
- Sophisticated agricultural developments now allow growers to choose from among systematically cross-bred species to ensure the greatest hardiness in their crops, as suited for a particular region's pathological profile. Breeding practices have been perfected over centuries, but with the advent of genetic manipulation even finer control of a crop's immunity traits is possible. The engineering of foodplants may be less rewarding however, as higher output is frequently offset by popular suspicion and negative opinion about this "tampering" with nature.
- Many natural and synthetic compounds exist that could be employed to combat the above threats. This method works by directly eliminating disease-causing organisms or curbing their spread; however it has been shown to have too broad an effect, typically, to be good for the local ecosystem. From an economic standpoint all but the simplest natural additives may disqualify a product from "organic" status, potentially reducing the value of the yield.
- Crop rotation may be an effective means to prevent a parasitic population from becoming well established, as an organism affecting leaves would be starved when the leafy crop is replaced by a tuberous type, etc. Other means to undermine parasites without attacking them directly may exist.
- The use of two or more of these methods in combination offers a higher chance of effectiveness.
If you see any abnormal in your garden, contact a specialist immediately, before it is too late.
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