More rapid and severe disease outbreaks for aquaculture at the tropics: implications for food security
Article first published online: 5 DEC 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Applied Ecology © 2012 British Ecological Society
Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume 50, Issue 1, pages 215–222, February 2013
How to Cite
Leung, T. L. F., Bates, A. E. (2013), More rapid and severe disease outbreaks for aquaculture at the tropics: implications for food security. Journal of Applied Ecology, 50: 215–222. doi: 10.1111/1365-2644.12017
- Issue published online: 30 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 5 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 25 JUL 2012
- climate change adaptation;
- latitudinal trend
- Aquaculture is replacing capture fisheries in supplying the world with dietary protein. Although disease is a major threat to aquaculture production, the underlying global epidemiological patterns are unknown.
- We analysed disease outbreak severity across different latitudes in a diverse range of aquaculture systems.
- Disease at lower latitudes progresses more rapidly and results in higher cumulative mortality, in particular at early stages of development and in shellfish.
- Tropical countries suffer proportionally greater losses in aquaculture during disease outbreaks and have less time to mitigate losses.
- Synthesis and applications. Disease can present a major problem for food production and security in equatorial regions where fish and shellfish provide a major source of dietary protein. As the incidences of some infectious diseases may increase with climate change, adaptation strategies must consider global patterns in disease vulnerability of aquaculture and develop options to minimize impacts on food production.