sudden oak death

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Sudden Oak Death Biology 101 – Plant Biology Your Name: Date: Reviewed by: _________________ and _____________________ Sudden Oak Death Invasive pathogens are emerging as a potent threat to the forest ecosystems because of their ability to infect and wipe out an individual plant species or broad host range; disrupting the biodiversity of the forest ecosystems. Alarming incidents such as jarrah dieback in Western Australia are reminders that plant infections can have devastating effects on the environment (1). In that incident, almost all the tree species were eliminated over a vast area accumulating to 80 000 hectares and converted to grassland or shrubland as a result of the infection by Phytophthora cinnamomi. Sudden oak death is another plant disease of epidemic proportions joining that list of plant pathogens terrorising forest ecosystem from the Big Sur coastline to Oregon in the USA (2). Similar to sudden oak death is sudden larch death, but it poses threat to the larch species, and is now prevalent in Europe (3). The presence of other infected nurseries was sorely underestimated which led to the establishment of Sudden larch death in parts of Europe through the exchange of contaminated soil or nursery stock (3). This disease has attracted much attention since its discovery because oak and tanoaks are at greatest risk from this infection and they also are important species in many ecosystems. They can serve as food and habitat for animals, serve as barriers against fire outbreak and host mycorrhizal networks (4). Therefore, extensive loss of such species which serve as the cornerstone of forests system could irreversibly alter the ecosystem. Initial

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