Rice is the most rapidly growing staple food in Africa and although rice production is steadily increasing, the consumption is still out-pacing the production. In Tanzania, two important diseases in rice production are leaf blast caused by Magnaporthe oryzae and bacterial leaf blight caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. The objective of this study was to quantify rice yield losses due to these two important diseases under a changing climate. We found that bacterial leaf blight is predicted to increase causing greater losses than leaf blast in the future, with losses due to leaf blast declining. The results of this study indicate that the effects of climate change on plant disease can not only be expected to be uneven across diseases but also across geographies, as in some geographic areas losses increase but decrease in others for the same disease.
Recommended citation: Spatial modelling of rice yield losses in Tanzania due to bacterial leaf blight and leaf blast in a changing climate. C Duku, A H Sparks, S J Zwart. Climatic Change 135.3 (Jan. 2016) pp. 569–583. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-015-1580-2