Plant pathogens cause mortality and reduce fecundity of individual plants, drive host population dynamics, and affect the structure and composition of natural plant communities. Pathogens are responsible for both numerical changes in host populations and evolutionary changes through selection for resistant genotypes. Linking such ecological and evolutionary dynamics has been the focus of a growing body of literature on the effects of plant diseases in natural ecosystems. A guiding principle is the importance of understanding the spatial and temporal scales at which plants and pathogens interact. This review summarizes the effects of diseases on populations of wild plants, focusing in particular on the mediation of plant competition and succession, the maintenance of plant species diversity, as well as the process of rapid evolutionary changes in host-pathogen symbioses.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error