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Fungi and diseases - natural components of healthy forests

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Ostry, M. E.; Laflamme, G.

Year Published



Botany. 87: 22-25.


Forest health is described and perceived in different ways by the general public, land owners, managers, politicians, and scientists, depending on their values and objectives. Native tree pathogens and diseases are often associated with negative impacts even though damage is limited or not widespread. Too often, the concepts of tree health and forest health are used interchangeably and are not related to scale. Similar to fire, occurrences of disease outbreaks focus on the negative effects. However, native pathogens often exist in equilibrium with natural forest communities so their critical ecological roles are not easily discernible. Examined holistically, native fungi and diseases, dead and dying trees, and the many complex ecological interactions among them provide valuable benefits that ultimately contribute to sustainable, healthy forest ecosystems.


forest succession, wildlife habitat, forest diversity, forest management, forest health, tree health


Ostry, M. E.; Laflamme, G. 2009. Fungi and diseases - natural components of healthy forests. Botany 87:22-25.

Last updated on: February 5, 2010