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Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2017  |  Volume: 17  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 194 - 201

Predictions of the Striga Scourge under New Climate in Southern Africa: A Perspective

Mandumbu Ronald, Mutengwa Charles, Mabasa Stanford and Mwenje Eddie    

Abstract: Striga is a major parasitic weedy species in Southern Africa and is an impediment to attainment of household food security for poorly resourced communal farmers. The objective of this study was to use future niche descriptions and the life stages of Striga to predict the Striga epidemic in the future. Climate change projections through time scale analysis, general circulation models (GCM) down scaling and dynamical down scaling were used to predict the likely scenario in relation to the Striga epidemic. Agricultural systems are expected to face an increasing risk of erosion, runoff and soil degradation. Alternating high temperatures and rainfall may assist breaking of dormancy in Striga whilst severe winds greatly aid dispersal of the weed seeds. Generally production of strigolactones, haustorial initiation factors, attachments, seed production and dispersal were expected to increase as temperature rises like other biological processes. From this study it can be concluded that the Striga epidemic is going to increase under the new climate. The parasitic weed is likely going to become a more serious threat to crop production.

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