The global burden of pathogens and pests on major food crops (Nature Ecol Evol) ($)

Pathogens and pests are bad, but just how bad? And how do different regions of the world compare in terms of crop losses to pathogens and pests? Savary et al. surveyed crop experts from across the globe to address these questions, focusing on five major food crops (wheat, rice, maize, potato and soybean). They identify where some of the most detrimental crop/ pest interactions take place. They conclude that “the highest losses are associated with food-deficit regions with fast-growing populations, and frequently with emerging or re-emerging pests and diseases.”  The data are interesting to browse and certainly will be useful for identifying focus areas for research and intervention. (Summary by Mary Williams) Nature Eco. Evol. 10.1038/s41559-018-0793-y