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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Growing risk? The potential impact of plant disease on land use and the UK rural economy

United Kingdom crop production and the natural environment are vulnerable to the introduction of plant diseases. The overall aim of this project is to develop a critical, inter-disciplinary appraisal of the potential impacts of plant diseases (on food and non-food species) on land use and the UK rural economy.

This will be achieved through:

  • The assessment of the likely occurrence of a catastrophic plant disease outbreak in major UK crops over the next 10-15 years 
  • An examination of the routes of transmission and epidemic foci of emerging or changing plant diseases specific to food and non-food plants through normal trade activity and natural transmission.
  • An examination of the environmental and socio-economic impacts of specific plant diseases on selected rural communities in the UK, including an assessment of alternative management strategies on individual stakeholders and community behaviour.

Overall, the project will provide a generic framework for taking a holistic approach to risk analysis, regulation and governance for plant diseases and scenario planning to inform the national response to catastrophic plant disease epidemics.

Findings from this project will be communicated through media channels (including film) in addition to conventional publications and appropriate events.