About this Research Topic
Pathogens drive many ecological (e.g., forest succession) and evolutionary processes (e.g., species diversification) and represent an essential, yet poorly known, component of biodiversity in natural and human modified ecosystems, especially for the tropics. All plant species and plant structures are susceptible to attack by pathogens at any time in their life cycles. Additionally, jointly with insects, pathogens comprise a major threat to wild or cultivated plant species, with strong socio-economic implications in agro-ecosystems and for the conservation of biodiversity in natural ecosystems.
Increasingly, plant-pathogen interactions are being studied in tropical natural systems, yielding novel and exciting findings. Nevertheless, we still lack a complete understanding of how these interactions may be altered in contemporary tropical dynamic landscapes worldwide. Increasing human impacts on natural ecosystems (e.g., deforestation and habitat fragmentation), the accidental movement of pathogens, large-scale intensive agriculture and forestry, together with climate change, are associated with the emergence of new plant diseases or disruption of key plant-pathogen interactions that shape tropical forests. In this special article collection, our main objective is to bring together researchers employing different approaches and perspectives that will provide new insights into the understanding of plant-pathogen interactions in changing tropical landscapes.
The ultimate goal of this special article collection is to improve our knowledge of these important interactions to better inform the conservation of tropical biodiversity as well as the sustainable management of natural, agricultural, and forestry systems in the tropics worldwide.
Keywords: Pathogen, Plant-pathogens, Tropical Forests, Plant-pathogen interactions, Forests, Disease, Human impact, Ecosystems, Tropical biodiversity, Tropical landscapes
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