Forest pathogens are a natural part of the environment and diseases caused by these pathogens can be beneficial as well as destructive to the forest as a whole. Starting from the basis of “forest health”, this module presents an overview of the various categories of forest pathogens, as well as stand and tree level symptoms of various pathogens.
It is expected that after watching the presentation and lab videos you should have learnt the following:
- Analyze the concept of “healthy forest”.
- Explain the role of fungi in forest.
- Explain the difference between the terms abiotic, decline and biotic regarding forest diseases.
- Describe the difference between stand and tree level symptoms of diseases.
- Differentiate between the different categories of forest pathogens.
- Describe how to recognize and identify pathogens.
- Describe the symptoms and effects of white and brown rot decay fungi.
- Discuss Armillaria root disease and white pine blister rust.
Listen to Dr. Hamelin respond to the question: How did I get interested in this area of study? by clicking on his photo.
For information about Dr. Hamelin, please check UBC, Faculty of Forestry
Introduction to Forest Pathology
Dr. Richard Hamelin explains that forest health depends on user expectations, and the spatial and/or temporal scale at which forest is examined. Disease, the reaction of the tree to the biotic or abiotic disturbance, has numerous positive and fewer negative roles in forest. Forest pathogens, biotic agents which can cause the disease, can be foliar, stem, root, mistletoe, white and brown rot, native or introduced organisms.
- Tree Insects and Diseases of Canada’s Forests
- Agrios, G. 2011. Plant Pathology. 6th ed. Academic Press.
- Forest and Shade Tree Pathology by Dr. James Worrall, Forest Pathologist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region.
- Forest Pathology and Wood Microbiology Research Laboratory of Dr. Robert Blanchette, U. of Minnesota.
Potential Questions for use by Instructors
- Explain the difference between spatial and temporal scale.
- What is the difference between a pathogen and a disease?
- What are the main groups of diseases?
- Explain the difference between stand level and tree level symptoms of tree diseases. Give 2 examples of each.
- Describe a control method against root diseases. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of this method.