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Interactive effects of drought and pathogens in forest trees

Abstract : This review synthesizes the available knowledge on drought-disease interactions in forest trees with a focus on (1) evidence and patterns of drought-disease interactions, (2) current understanding of processes and mechanisms, and (3) three well documented cases studies. The first part is based on the analysis of a database of slightly more than one hundred studies, obtained by keyword searches combining drought, diseases or pathogens, and forest trees. A large majority of published studies referred to a positive association between drought and disease, i.e. disease favoured by drought or drought and disease acting synergistically on tree health status, with a predominance of canker/dieback diseases, caused by pathogens like Botryosphaeria, Sphaeropsis, Cytospora and Biscognauxia (Hypoxylon). The type of disease-related variables (incidence vs. severity) and the intensity and timing of water stress were shown to be significant factors affecting the drought- infection interaction. Interactions with other abiotic stresses and species-specific and genetic effects, related to host or pathogen, have also been reported. Direct effects of drought on pathogens are generally negative, although most fungal pathogens exhibit an important plasticity and can grow at water potentials well below the minimum for growth of their host plants. Studies on indirect effects of drought on pathogens through other community interactions are still relatively scarce. Positive drought-infection effects can mostly be explained by indirect effects of drought on host physiology. The predisposition and the multiple stress hypotheses are presented, as well as recent developments in the study of the molecular basis of abiotic and biotic stress, and their interactions. Sphaeropsis sapinea on pines, Biscognauxia mediterranea on oaks and root pathogens in declines associated with drought provide illustrative examples, treated as case studies, of pathogens of current significance associated with drought. The conclusion highlights some knowledge gaps, e.g. the role of latent parasites and the shift to a pathogenic stage, or t
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Marie Laure M. L. Desprez Loustau, Benoit Marçais, Louis Michel Nageleisen, Dominique Piou, Andrea Vannini. Interactive effects of drought and pathogens in forest trees. Annals of Forest Science, 2006, 63 (6), pp.597-612. ⟨10.1051/forest:2006040⟩. ⟨hal-02666842⟩

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