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June : The effect of fungal pathogens on the water and carbon economy of trees

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20 June, 2014

The effect of fungal pathogens on the water and carbon economy of trees

Jonàs Oliva1,*, Jan Stenlid1 and Jordi Martínez-Vilalta

New Phytologist
, online early DOI:10.1111/nph.12857

....Pests and pathogens cause tree mortality and it is well known that drought may predispose forests to attacks by insects and fungal pathogens. The interaction between drought stress and the damage caused by forest pests and pathogens has been addressed in a recent meta-analysis, and the connection between the physiological status of the tree and disease development has motivated a number of reviews in the past. Biotic agents have also been included in theoretical models for drought induced mortality. However, previous reports have not fully acknowledged the diversity of trophic interactions that microorganisms establish with the host trees and how this diversity has direct consequences in terms of the physiological mechanisms leading to mortality. Tree mortality can result directly from a toxic effect from metabolites produced by pathogens, but pathogens can also disrupt the xylem and phloem of the infected hosts and affect their C economy through the consumption of C reserves and the induction of C-expensive defences. Here, we develop a new framework that brings together the effects of pathogens and drought on the water and C economy of trees, and explore the implications for the process of drought-induced mortality....

Download the full PDF document : Oliva_et_al_2014

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