Pests and pathogens are an important source of disturbance in forest environments. When they are endemic in natural forests, and in the absence of other disturbances, they contribute in a fundamental way to gap dynamics, thereby engendering, and helping to maintain, biodiversity and forest structure. However, when they are introduced into naïve forest environments, where they usually encounter a defense-free space due to lack of co-evolution with their new potential hosts, they can result in large scale tree mortality, which degrades or destroys ecosystem services upon which humans rely. In plantation forestry and urban forests they behave more like classical crop pests, where they cause direct economic and societal damage.
The Specialty Section - Pests, Pathogens and Invasions will consider publication of high-quality, hypothesis-driven, fundamental and translational research related to forest pathogens (including fungi, oomycetes, bacteria, phytoplasmas, viruses, nematodes, and parasitic plants) and insect pests, with a special interest in research aimed at providing short-, mid-, and long-term solutions to the ecological and social costs associated with forest pest and pathogen invasions, including but not limited to:
1.Evolution and emergence of new forest pathogens and pests;
2.Forest pest and pathogen dynamics, including pathways and mechanisms of introduction, establishment, and spread;
3.Organismal, molecular and chemical ecology of tree-pathogen and tree-pest interactions;
4.Development of, and breeding for, resistance to forest pests and pathogens;
5.Biosecurity policy and tools, e.g. early warning systems, sentinel plantings, citizen science.
This Specialty Section also welcomes policy briefs and perspectives on the best approaches to the management of forest pathogen and pest invasions, with the aim of moving towards a more evidence-based approach to dealing with pests, pathogens and invasions under global change scenarios.
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