Ecological competence is the ability of an organism, often a pathogen, to survive and compete in new habitats. In the case of plant pathogens, it is also their ability to survive between growing seasons. For example, peanut clump virus can survive in the spores of its fungal vector until a new growing season begins and it can proceed to infect its primary host again. If a pathogen does not have ecological competence it is likely to become extinct.
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