Modelling plant health for policy

Jones, Glyn and Kleczkowski, Adam (2020) Modelling plant health for policy. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, 4 (5). pp. 473-483. ISSN 2397-8562 (

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Plant health is relatively poorly funded compared with animal and human health issues. However, we contend it is at least as complex and likely more so given the number of pests and hosts and that outbreaks occur in poorly monitored open systems. Modelling is often suggested as a method to better consider the threats to plant health to aid resource and time poor decision makers in their prioritisation of responses. However, like other areas of science, the modelling community has not always provided accessible and relevant solutions. We describe some potential solutions to developing plant health models in conjunction with decision makers based upon a recent example and illustrate how an increased emphasis on plant health is slowly expanding the potential role of modelling in decision making. We place the research in the Credibility, Relevance and Legitimacy (CRELE) framework and discuss the implications for future developments in co-construction of policy-linked models.