Home Institution

University of Minnesota

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Program Name

Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation


Moniliophthora roreri, or Frosty Pod Rot (FPR) is a widespread pathogen that affects the fruit of Theobroma cacao, a tree commonly known as the cacao tree. Often, cultivators seek to control spread of M. roreri through fungicidal compounds. However, these fungicides place selective pressure for resistance on M. roreri. Additionally, they can have adverse environmental and human health effects and are difficult to integrate into practice for smallholders. Therefore organic farms in Bocas del Toro in western Panama, have turned to biocontrol agents to reduce the spread of M. roreri. These strategies include increasing hybrid variety, modifying community composition, altering environmental factors, and changing the spatial composition of the cultivars. In this study I analyzed the prevalence of M. roreri in cacao pods in relation to T. cacao clone variety, community composition, and environmental factors. A significant relationship (P=0.00171) and a moderate negative correlation (R2 = -0.40) between M. roreri affectation and overall plot diversity was found. This suggests that the diversity of community composition is a factor which influences overall M. roreri affectation.


Biodiversity | Biology | Environmental Health | Forest Biology | Forest Management | Forest Sciences | Latin American Studies


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