Progress of cercopora leaf spot in coffee under different irrigation management systems and planting densities

Bernardo Reis Teixeira Lacerda Paiva, Paulo Estevão De Souza, Myriane Stella Scalco, Fernando Pereira Monteiro


Irrigation and density are practices that change the microclimate of the crop and affect the incidence of light, temperature and relative humidity and, thus, the intensity of diseases in coffee. Therefore, quantifying the influence of these practices on disease progress is useful in making decisions regarding their appropriate management. This study evaluated the effect of different planting densities and irrigation management practices on the incidence and severity of Cercospora leaf spot on adult coffee plants, and irrigation and planting density practices were related to progress of the disease and plant leaf development. A randomized block experimental design was used with four replications in a split-plot arrangement. The treatments consisted of four planting densities located in the plots (conventional and dense): 2500 (4.0 x 1.0 m), 3333 (3.0 x
1.0 m), 5000 (2.0 x 1.0 m) and 10,000 (2.0 x 0.5 m) plants.ha-1, and four irrigation management practices (split-plots), which were: irrigation when soil water tension reached values near 20kPa; irrigation when soil water tension reached values near 60 kPa; irrigation management using the climatic water balance (calculated by the software Irriplus); and a control without irrigation. Each row in the split-plot consisted of 10 plants, with the six center plants being considered as useful. It was found
that irrigation management influences the incidence of Cercospora leaf spot and leaf formation; in non-irrigated plants the incidence of Cercospora leaf spot was 30% greater than in the irrigated managements. The foliage had values close to 1000 as the area under the disease progress curve. In regression analysis of the area under the severity and incidence progress curve, the quadratic model gave the best fit, with the following equations: y=0.000004x2-0.0137x+192.05 (R2=0.6901) and y=0.000014x2-0.4048x+5943.7 (R2=0.6086), respectively. The minimum value of the area under the severity progress curve was obtained when using a density of approximately 7500 plants per hectare. The maximum value was obtained when using the density of 1712.5 plants per hectare. For the area under the incidence progress curve, similar results were obtained. High planting density systems of 10,000 plants/ha and 5,000 plants/ha reduced the incidence of Cercospora leaf spot by 35% and 31.5%, respectively. Planting density did not affect leaf development.


Cercospora coffeicola; Epidemiology; Plant Pathology; Coffea arabica



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