Diseases of Forest Trees: Consequences of Exotic Ecosystems?

  • Authors: Otrosina, William J.
  • Publication Year: 1998
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Proceedings of the Ninth Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research COnference. USDA Forest Service. June 1998.


Much attention is now given to risks and impacts of exotic pest introductions in forest ecosystems. This concern is for good reason because, once introduced, an exotic pathogen or insect encounters little resistance in the native plant population and can produce catastrophic losses in relatively short periods of time. Most native fungal pathogens of forest trees have co-evolved for eons with their hosts and have reached a sort of balance between them and populations of susceptible tree species. Recent studies on various forest types have indicated a higher incidence of certain fungal Pathogens than were previously thought to occur. These pathogens are either the type not normally thought of as highly virulent or are those that have not been previously reported as a serious problem on a particular host. For example, Pathogenic fungi belonging to both the Leptographium complex and Heferobasidion annosum, are associated with mortality afier prescribed burning in certain longleaf pine stands. Yet, this tree species has traditionally been rankd as highly tolerant to these fungi. Could these observations reflect some manifestation of "exotic ecosystems," whereby the conditions under which particular tree species evolved are no longer present or are altered in some way that increases their susceptibility to these fungi? With the current emphasis on ecosystem restoration and alternative silviculturel regimes, it is critical to address such questions in order to avert losses in forest productivity.

  • Citation: Otrosina, William J. 1998. Diseases of Forest Trees: Consequences of Exotic Ecosystems?. Proceedings of the Ninth Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research COnference. USDA Forest Service. June 1998.
  • Posted Date: April 1, 1980
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.