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Soil‐borne pathogens as determinants of regeneration patterns at community level in Mediterranean forests

AuthorsDomínguez Begines, J.; Ávila Castuera, José M. ; García, Luis V. ; Gómez Aparicio, Lorena
KeywordsXotic pathogens
Mediterranean mixed forests
Neighbourhood models
Oak decline
Phytophthora cinnamomi
Seedling establishmen
Issue DateFeb-2020
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationNew Phytologist 227(2): 588-600 (2020)
AbstractEmergent diseases are an increasing problem in forests worldwide. Exotic pathogens are now threatening forests where pathogens have not traditionally been considered to be major ecological drivers of tree demography, such as water‐limited Mediterranean forests. However, how pathogens might limit regeneration in invaded forests is largely unknown. Here we used fungicide to analyse the impact of soil‐borne oomycete pathogens on seedling establishment at community level in Mediterranean forests invaded by the exotic oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi . Fungicide effects were modelled as a function of the tree neighbourhood composition, the seed mass of the target species, and the abiotic environment. Fungicide application had positive effects on seedling performance that varied in magnitude and spatial structure among coexisting species. Seed mass predicted fungicide effects on seedling emergence, but not on survival or growth. Positive fungicide effects were modulated by levels of abiotic resources, mainly water, increasing with soil moisture. Our results support a novel role for soil‐borne oomycete pathogens as one more axis of the regeneration niche of woody species in water‐limited forests. Given the increasing numbers of exotic oomycete pathogens worldwide, more research is needed to understand the role of this relevant microbial group as a factor shaping seedling establishment.
Description13 páginas.- 4 figuras.- 4 tablas.- 93 referencias
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.16467
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos
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