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Keywords:

  • Cacao swollen shoot virus;
  • immune crops barriers;
  • quantitative epidemiology;
  • spatial statistics;
  • Theobroma cacao

In order to quantitatively analyse the spatial pattern of cacao swollen shoot disease, particularly in cases of re-emergence, three experimental plots were installed in a diseased area of cacao cv. Amelonado in Togo. After thorough cleaning and grubbing, the three plots were planted with less susceptible, hybrid plant material. Twenty years after replanting, a survey of healthy, diseased and dead trees was carried out during 2 consecutive years. Data were analysed using Ripley’s functions and join counts analysis. The re-emergence of the disease occurred in patches or foci: following analyses with the two statistical methods, diseased trees and dead trees were found to be clearly aggregated on the three observed plots for the 2 years. The observed progress of the disease was not the same on the three plots and seemed dependent on the disease state of the first year: the higher the attack rate of the first year, the faster the disease progression. The use of less susceptible plants helped keep the land productive for 15 years. In conclusion, uprooting of the first infection focus can extend the life of cacao plots.