Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Spread Of Plant Diseases By Insects Can Be Described By Equations That Model Interplanetary Gravity

Date:
September 5, 2006
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Researchers from Penn State University and the University of Virginia show that the spread of diseases by insects can be described by equations similar to those that describe the force of gravity between planetary objects. Their findings are detailed in the September issue of the American Naturalist.

Researchers from Penn State University and the University of Virginia show that the spread of diseases by insects can be described by equations similar to those that describe the force of gravity between planetary objects. Their findings are detailed in the September issue of The American Naturalist.

Related Articles


Insects tend to transmit diseases in the course of feeding on plants, and their movement between plants is influenced by plant quality (how good of a meal they'll get) and the distance between plants, or, how far they'll have to travel to get to the next meal, explain Matthew Ferrari, Jessica Partain, Janis Antonovics, and Ottar Bjornstad.

"It turns out insects are more likely to move shorter distances between better plants," write the authors. "Interestingly, then, the probability of disease being passed between two plants goes up if they are closer and/or better, which parallels the stronger gravity between closer and larger planets."

The researchers tracked a fungal disease spread by bees and moths in the course of pollinating and feeding on nectar from white campion flowers at the University of Virginia's Mountain Lake Biological Station. As predicted by the behaviour of insects, the disease was more likely to spread shorter distances between plants that had many flowers.

"This implies that knowledge of insect behaviour can lead to better prediction of where disease will spread," explain the authors. In fact, these patterns are not limited to diseases of plants or diseases carried by insects. Bjornstad and colleagues have previously shown that similar patterns describe the spread of measles among cities, because people tend to travel more between large towns or only short distances.

Founded in 1867, The American Naturalist is one of the world's most renowned, peer-reviewed publications in ecology, evolution, and population and integrative biology research. AN emphasizes sophisticated methodologies and innovative theoretical syntheses--all in an effort to advance the knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles.

Reference: Matthew J. Ferrari, Ottar N, Bjornstad, Jessica L. Partain, and Janis Antonovics, "A gravity model for the spread of pollinator-borne plant pathogen." The American Naturalist 167:9.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Spread Of Plant Diseases By Insects Can Be Described By Equations That Model Interplanetary Gravity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060901160620.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2006, September 5). Spread Of Plant Diseases By Insects Can Be Described By Equations That Model Interplanetary Gravity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060901160620.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Spread Of Plant Diseases By Insects Can Be Described By Equations That Model Interplanetary Gravity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060901160620.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

AFP (Nov. 25, 2014) Phnom Penh's only working elephant was blessed by a crowd of chanting Buddhist monks Tuesday as she prepared for a life of comfortable jungle retirement after three decades of giving rides to tourists. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) A Swedish Adventure racing team travels to try and win a world title, but comes home with something way better: a stray dog that joined the team for much of the grueling 430-mile race. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins