Effects of Xanthomonas wilt and other banana diseases on ecosystem services in banana-based agroecosystems
Banana plantations are multifunctional agroecosystems that besides their main provisioning service also deliver a range of supporting, regulatory and cultural services that are largely unvalorized. Banana is perennial in nature with plantations as old as 50 years reported in the African Great Lakes region. Banana is cultivated in a wide range of agroecologies (from sea level to 2400 m a.s.l.) and cropping systems, where it contributes to various ecosystem services (ES). These include regulating soil erosion, water cycles and quality, and nutrient recycling. However, the outbreak of Xanthomonas wilt of banana (XW) along with some of its management practices, such as uprooting mats/entire fields, is devastating banana production and rendering landscapes bare and prone to degradation. Yet this process is also leading to diversification of agroecosystems in over 70% of farms in the African Great Lakes region with unknown but potentially positive consequences for resilience and adaptation, as well as for local diets. The sustainability of these alternative land-uses is variable. This study reviews the different services offered by banana plantations and the impacts, positive or negative, that XW-driven diversification may have on these services. It suggests the need to consider explicitly the consequences of pests and diseases for the full range of ES provided by the crop and an ES-broad framework for estimation of losses, and planning resources and strategies for disease management. The study also suggests strategies, such as incorporation of shade- and drought-tolerant cover crops, hedges and agroforestry trees, to augment the supply of key ES within XW-affected agroecosystems/landscapes.
Ocimati, W., Groot, J.C.J., Tittonell, P., Taulya, G. and Blomme, G. (2018). Effects of Xanthomonas wilt and other banana diseases on ecosystem services in banana-based agroecosystems. Acta Hortic. 1196, 19-32
drought tolerance, landscape, multiple functions, provisioning, regulatory, shade tolerance, supporting