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Spatiotemporal Model of Barley and Cereal Yellow Dwarf Virus Transmission Dynamics with Seasonality and Plant Competition


Many generalist pathogens are influenced by the spatial distributions and relative abundances of susceptible host species. The spatial structure of host populations can influence patterns of infection incidence (or disease outbreaks), and the effects of a generalist pathogen on host community dynamics in a spatially heterogeneous community may differ from predictions derived via simple models. In this paper, we model the transmission of a generalist pathogen within a patch framework that incorporates the movement of vectors between discrete host patches to investigate the effects of local host community composition and vector movement rates on disease dynamics.We use barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDV), a suite of generalist, aphid-vectored pathogens of grasses, and their interactions with a range of host species as our case study. We examine whether B/CYDV can persist locally or in a patch framework across a range of host community configurations. We then determine how pathogen-mediated interactions between perennial and annual competitors are altered at the local and regional scale when the host populations are spatially structured. We find that the spatial configuration of the patch system, host composition within patches, and patch connectivity affect not only the ability of the pathogen to invade a fragmented system, but also determine whether the pathogen facilitates the invasion of a non-native host species. Further, our results suggest that connectivity can interact with arrival time and host infection tolerance to determine the success or failure of establishment for newly arriving species.