OOS 4-2 - Climate change and forest diseases: Patterns of action

Monday, August 8, 2011: 1:50 PM
14, Austin Convention Center
Susan J. Frankel, Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Albany, CA and Rona N. Sturrock, Pacific Forestry Centre, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Victoria, BC, Canada


Under a changing climate, forest diseases will continue to influence ecosystems in typical as well as novel ways.  We review current knowledge of how climate variables and forest diseases interact and what the impact of these interactions might look like under climate change.  Dynamics of the sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum) pathosystem will be presented to illustrate how temperature and moisture patterns drive tree mortality and pathogen spread; understanding the close link between climate and pathogen behavior can reduce disease incidence and decrease the cost of management interventions.  Aspen decline and yellow-cedar decline will be highlighted as examples of phenomena where large-scale mortality occurs through increased vulnerability of trees to environmental conditions.   


Forest diseases are expected to increase in number and impact under the extreme weather events and altered environmental conditions expected under climate change.

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