The development of dynamic models jointly to simulate host growth and disease spread necessitates a precise description of pathogen dispersal in relation to canopy structure. In this study, we measured disease spread from a single infected leaf positioned at different heights in wheat canopies. The resulting lesion distribution was described along crop rows and over three leaf layers. The spore sources, although limited to a single leaf, nearly saturated the host surface accessible to the spores. Most of the lesions were found within 30 to 40 cm of the source. The vertical position of the source influenced the lesion distribution and the steepness of the disease gradients. The leaf layer and the wheat row that contained the spore source were the most infected. Close to the source, a few heavily infected leaves produced steep disease gradients, whereas spore diffusion resulted in shallower gradients along the adjacent rows and on the other leaf layers. Depending on the precision needed, the lesion distribution can be described either at the level of leaf layers or by dispersal gradients for each row and leaf layer.
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