Pathogens are powerful evolutionary forces shaping the structure and dynamics of both individual species and of the communities of which they are part, at a broad range of genetic, ecological, spatial, and temporal scales. At all these levels their impact varies from the subtle and little recognized through to the most obvious destruction. Today the direct role of pathogens in natural plant communities is better recognized than at previous times, although the nuances of their interactions and the cascade of ramifications that can flow through changing biotic and abiotic effects are only now gaining recognition. However, as human influence on pathogens increases—either directly through enhanced if accidental dispersal, or through anthropogenic impacts on climate—we may expect to see increasing evidence of pathogens affecting plant species, community structure, and ecosystem function.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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