Next Article in Journal
People, Forests, and Change: Lessons from the Pacific Northwest. Edited by Deanna H. Olson and Beatrice Van Horne, Island Press, 2017; 350 Pages. Price: Hardback $90, ISBN 9781610917667; Paperback $45, ISBN 9781610917674
Next Article in Special Issue
Short Rotations in Forest Plantations Accelerate Virulence Evolution in Root-Rot Pathogenic Fungi
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Invasive Everywhere? Phylogeographic Analysis of the Globally Distributed Tree Pathogen Lasiodiplodia theobromae
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Forests 2017, 8(5), 147;

Tree Diseases as a Cause and Consequence of Interacting Forest Disturbances

Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Department of Biology, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road MSC 53, Portland, OR 97219, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Matteo Garbelotto and Paolo Gonthier
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Pathology and Plant Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1285 KB, uploaded 28 April 2017]   |  


The disease triangle is a basic and highly flexible tool used extensively in forest pathology. By linking host, pathogen, and environmental factors, the model provides etiological insights into disease emergence. Landscape ecology, as a field, focuses on spatially heterogeneous environments and is most often employed to understand the dynamics of relatively large areas such as those including multiple ecosystems (a landscape) or regions (multiple landscapes). Landscape ecology is increasingly focused on the role of co-occurring, overlapping, or interacting disturbances in shaping spatial heterogeneity as well as understanding how disturbance interactions mediate ecological impacts. Forest diseases can result in severe landscape-level mortality which could influence a range of other landscape-level disturbances including fire, wind impacts, and land use among others. However, apart from a few important exceptions, these disturbance-disease interactions are not well studied. We unite aspects of forest pathology with landscape ecology by applying the disease-triangle approach from the perspective of a spatially heterogeneous environment. At the landscape-scale, disturbances such as fire, insect outbreak, wind, and other events can be components of the environmental ‘arm’ of the disease triangle, meaning that a rich base of forest pathology can be leveraged to understand how disturbances are likely to impact diseases. Reciprocal interactions between disease and disturbance are poorly studied but landscape ecology has developed tools that can identify how they affect the dynamics of ecosystems and landscapes. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest pathogens; disease triangle; landscape ecology; disturbance interactions; fire; insect outbreak forest pathogens; disease triangle; landscape ecology; disturbance interactions; fire; insect outbreak

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Cobb, R.C.; Metz, M.R. Tree Diseases as a Cause and Consequence of Interacting Forest Disturbances. Forests 2017, 8, 147.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top