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Biotic Factors Affecting Ecosystem Services in Urban and Peri-Urban Forests in Italy: The Role of Introduced and Impending Pathogens and Pests

Department of Agrifood Production and Environmental Sciences, Plant Pathology and Entomology Division, University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine, 28, 50144 Florence, Italy
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Forests 2018, 9(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9020065
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
The present-day phytosanitary disasters caused by biological invasions are afflicting urban and peri-urban forest stands worldwide, as well as the varied services they normally provide. In Europe, we are witnessing an alarming situation due to an increasing introduction of infectious diseases and pests. The authors present an up-to-date list of alien microbial pathogens and insect pests affecting urban greening that have been accidentally imported in Italy or that are likely to be introduced. Information about the biology, epidemiology, ethology, and control of these invasive organisms is provided. For each species, the current geographical distribution, including newly-colonized areas, is also given, as well as the chronological progression of its occurrence. Particular detail is used for describing symptoms—the key diagnostic elements for appropriate and timely phytosanitary management. This paper will benefit urban forest management, which is a crucial factor in maintaining the social and ecological viability of urban green spaces, as well as ecosystem services. The importance of engaging citizens in community-based monitoring of urban greenspaces for tracking the location, abundance, and pathways of invasive pathogens and pests will also be touched upon. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial pathogens; insect pests; biotic invaders; forest ecological value; ecosystem services; citizen science microbial pathogens; insect pests; biotic invaders; forest ecological value; ecosystem services; citizen science
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Moricca, S.; Bracalini, M.; Croci, F.; Corsinovi, S.; Tiberi, R.; Ragazzi, A.; Panzavolta, T. Biotic Factors Affecting Ecosystem Services in Urban and Peri-Urban Forests in Italy: The Role of Introduced and Impending Pathogens and Pests. Forests 2018, 9, 65.

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