Expected shifts in Fusarium species' composition on cereal grain in Northern Europe due to climatic change

P Parikka, K Hakala, K Tiilikkala
Food Additives & Contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure & Risk Assessment 2012, 29 (10): 1543-55
In Northern Europe, changes in climate may result in better growing conditions for many crops. However, the expected warmer and more humid conditions are favourable for Fusarium head blight infections on cereals. The Fusarium species prevalent in Nordic areas to date are the same as in Central Europe: F. avenaceum, F. culmorum, F. graminearum and F. poae. The prevalence of F. graminearum in cereal grain has already increased in Central Europe and is likely to increase in the North due to the expected changes in weather conditions, reduced tillage and the predicted increase in maize cultivation in Nordic countries. The possible weather extremes predispose cereals to Fusarium infections by increasing the populations of insect pests injuring plants. Adverse conditions may even create conditions suitable for F. subglutinans or F. verticilloides to infect maize and possibly other cereals in rotation in southern parts of Scandinavia. The importance of the species that infect in relatively dry conditions, F. langsethiae and F. poae, may also increase on winter cereals which are predicted to be more prevalent in future farming. If the number of crop species cultivated will increase and non-cereal crops are included in rotations effects of reduced tillage on Fusarium infections in grain could be limited. The predicted changes in climate towards 2050 are expected to slightly change Fusarium species composition in Northern Europe. An increase in F. graminearum and possibly the invasion of northern parts of Central Europe and Denmark by fumonisin producers is expected.

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