World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Forest pathology

Article Id: WHEBN0028294778
Reproduction Date:

Title: Forest pathology  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Forestry, Forest pathology, Forest protection, Forestry in the United Kingdom, Forest dieback
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Forest pathology

Forest pathology is the research of both biotic and abiotic maladies affecting the health of a forest ecosystem, primarily fungal pathogens and their insect vectors. It is a subfield of forestry and plant pathology.

Forest pathology is part of the broader approach of forest protection.

Abiotic factors

There a number of abiotic factors which affect the health of a forest such as moisture issues like drought, winter-drying, waterlogging resulting from over-abundance or lack of Precipitation such as hail, snow, rain.

Wind is also an important abiotic factor as Windthrow (the uprooting or breaking of trees due to high winds) causes an obvious and direct loss of stability to a forest or its trees.

Often, abiotic factors and biotic factors will affect a forest at the same time. For example, if wind speed is 80 km per hour then many trees which have root rot (caused by a pathogen) are likely to be thrown. Higher wind speeds are necessary to damage healthier trees.

Fire, whether caused by humans or lightning and related abiotic factors also affect the health of forest.

The effects of man often alter a forest's predisposition to damage from both abiotic and biotic effects. For example soil properties may be altered by heavy machinery.

Other abiotic factors

Biotic factors


There is a category listing insect pests of temperate forests in WorldHeritage

Some of these factors act in concert (well all do to a degree). For example Amylostereum areolatum which is spread by the Sirex woodwasp. The fungus gains access to new trees to live off and the woodwasp larvae gain food.

Parasitic flowering plants

  • Many plants can parasitize trees via root to root contact. Many of these parasitic plants originate in the tropical and subtropical climates.


Nematodes, insects especially bark beetles, mammals may browse. Browsing can be prevented with Tree shelters

Part of forest pathology is forest entomology. Forest entomology encompasses the study of all insects and arthropods such as mites, centipedes and millipedes which live in a and interact in forest ecosystems and the management of insect pests that cause the degrading, defoliation, crown die-back or death of trees.

Thus the scope is wide and includes:

  • Documentation of all insect species and related arthropoda in natural and man-made forests, and the study and ecology of those species.
  • Description and assessment of damage to tree structures (parts of a tree), to forest stands, landscape effects and to wood products, timber in service and other ecosystem services.
  • Eradication of recently introduced pests, or long-term management of established exotics and indigenous pests, to minimise losses in wood quality and wood production, and to reduce tree mortality.
  • Assessments of forest operations, or of management impacts, on the invertebrate fauna, and the alleviation of any adverse effects on these invertebrates.[1]

Hazard trees

  • The likelihood of property damage or personal injury due to tree failure. Hazard includes not only the tree's condition, but the potential target as well. Rating systems, procedures and guidelines have been developed for decision making but knowledge, judgement, and experience are an important part to the process.

Pathogens that affect trees

There is a category listing tree diseases in WorldHeritage.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms are a result of a pathogen:

Signs are the visible presence of a part of a pathogen:

Pathology detection

This can be done by dogs or machines smelling the trees. It is similar to noses used to find truffles. It can also be done by monitoring and identification can happen via tree clinics, experts such as arborists or even non-experts through citizen science.

It is important to consider the disease triangle when evaluating pathologies. Demonstration of suspected active agents can be done by confirmation of Koch's postulates.

See also


  1. ^ Christian Stauffer, Lecture on Forest Protection 2013, Institute of Forest Entomology, Forest Pathology and Forest Protection (IFFF), Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Hasenauerstraße 38, A-1190 Vienna.

Further reading

  • Tainter, Frank H., and Fred A. Baker . Principles of Forest Pathology. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996.
  • European Journal of Forest Pathology (Eur J Forest Pathol), Springer, ISSN 0300-1237 (printed), ISSN 1573-8469 (electronic), 1895–present, 5-Year Impact Factor: 2.054

External links

  • Forest & Shade Tree Pathology
  • Forest pathology team at INRA Nancy, France
  • Hazard Trees
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.