Dispersal of Septoria nodorum pycnidiospores by simulated raindrops in still air
Fitt, Bruce D.L.
Simulated raindrops, diameter c. 3 or 4 mm, fell 13 m down a raintower onto suspensions of Septoria nodorum pycnidiospores, depth 0.5 mm, or infected straw pieces. Splash droplets were collected on pieces of fixed photographic film. It was estimated that one drop generated c. 300 spore carrying splash droplets, containing c. 6000 spores, from a concentrated spore suspension (6.5 × 105 spores/ml) and c. 25 spore-carrying droplets, containing c. 30 spores, from infected straw pieces (11 × 106 spores/g dry wt). When the target was a spore suspension in water without surfactant, most spore-carrying droplets were in the 200—400 μm size category and most spores were carried in droplets with diameter >1000 μm. When surfactant was added to spore suspensions, most spore-carrying droplets were in the 0–200 μm category and most spores were carried in droplets with diameter 200–400 μm and none in droplets >1000 μm. Regression analyses showed a significant (p < 0.001) relationship between square root (number of spores per droplet) and droplet diameter; the slope of the regression line was greatest when surfactant was added to the spore suspensions. The distribution of splash droplets with distance travelled from the target was better fitted by an exponential model than by power law or Gaussian models. The distributions of spore-carrying droplets and spores with distance were fitted better by an exponential model than by a power law model. Thus regressions of log, (number collected) against distance were all significant (p < 0.01); the slopes of the regression lines were steepest when surfactant was added to the spore suspension. At a distance of 10 cm from target spore suspensions most splash droplets and spore-carrying droplets were collected at height 10–20 cm, with none above 40 cm; at a distance of 20 cm there were most at heights 0–10 cm and 40–50 cm.