Research Topic

Forest Health Under Climate Change: Effects on Tree Resilience, and Pest and Pathogen Dynamics

About this Research Topic

Climate change is having important effects on forest dynamics, which can be both positive and negative for natural and managed ecosystems. To date, most empirical and synthesis research has focused on climate change implications for tree species distributions and productivity, while the potential impacts on forest pests and pathogens and the effects on tree population health have been comparatively neglected. These present some of the greatest threats to global forest health under climate change. Climate warming is changing the distributions and population structures of forest pests and pathogens, the way they interact with trees, and their evolutionary capacity, while also altering the capacity of forest systems to resist and tolerate attacks.

Our ability to predict the impacts of interactions between biotic agents and climate change is currently very limited, and has important implications for managing increasingly disturbed forests (both natural forest ecosystems and plantation forestry). Accumulating research of environmental effects on interaction of trees, pests and pathogens suggests that there is an urgent need for systems-based research to investigate both longstanding and novel biotic interactions. More specifically, it is crucial to record changes in forest pest population dynamics, address the factors that trigger their outbreaks and analyze the development of forest tree disease epidemics, as well as changes in tree susceptibility and resilience under a changing climate. Recent research has started to address these questions, and this Research Topic aims to contribute to the emerging field of climate change research.

This Research Topic will encompass ongoing research to meet these challenges and welcomes outstanding contributions addressing multifaceted effects of climate changes on forest pests and pathogens and their interactions with forest plants. Emphasis will be given to empirical research and novel methods papers, and will also include Reviews and Opinion articles to consolidate this topic and guide future research priorities.


Keywords: Climate Change, Multifaceted Interactions, Host-Pathogen Dynamics, Forest Disease, Pest Damage, Host Resistance


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Climate change is having important effects on forest dynamics, which can be both positive and negative for natural and managed ecosystems. To date, most empirical and synthesis research has focused on climate change implications for tree species distributions and productivity, while the potential impacts on forest pests and pathogens and the effects on tree population health have been comparatively neglected. These present some of the greatest threats to global forest health under climate change. Climate warming is changing the distributions and population structures of forest pests and pathogens, the way they interact with trees, and their evolutionary capacity, while also altering the capacity of forest systems to resist and tolerate attacks.

Our ability to predict the impacts of interactions between biotic agents and climate change is currently very limited, and has important implications for managing increasingly disturbed forests (both natural forest ecosystems and plantation forestry). Accumulating research of environmental effects on interaction of trees, pests and pathogens suggests that there is an urgent need for systems-based research to investigate both longstanding and novel biotic interactions. More specifically, it is crucial to record changes in forest pest population dynamics, address the factors that trigger their outbreaks and analyze the development of forest tree disease epidemics, as well as changes in tree susceptibility and resilience under a changing climate. Recent research has started to address these questions, and this Research Topic aims to contribute to the emerging field of climate change research.

This Research Topic will encompass ongoing research to meet these challenges and welcomes outstanding contributions addressing multifaceted effects of climate changes on forest pests and pathogens and their interactions with forest plants. Emphasis will be given to empirical research and novel methods papers, and will also include Reviews and Opinion articles to consolidate this topic and guide future research priorities.


Keywords: Climate Change, Multifaceted Interactions, Host-Pathogen Dynamics, Forest Disease, Pest Damage, Host Resistance


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 February 2018 Abstract
30 April 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 February 2018 Abstract
30 April 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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