Pathogens and Pests in North American Forest Ecosystems

Authored by: Louis Bernier , Sandy M. Smith

Routledge Handbook of Forest Ecology

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415735452
eBook ISBN: 9781315818290
Adobe ISBN: 9781317816447

10.4324/9781315818290.ch16

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Abstract

Trees are usually thought of as the organisms that define forests because of their overriding biomass. Trees, however, account for only a small part of the biodiversity of forests. Microbes and invertebrates are much larger contributors to biodiversity. Collectively, they also perform a variety of functions that are critical to the continuous functioning of forest ecosystems. Bacteria, fungi and invertebrates are key players in the development and fertility of forest soils. Living trees are hosts to and form a range of associations with a wide variety of endophytic microbes. Sexual reproduction of trees is greatly aided by insect pollinators. Once trees die, a succession of wood boring invertebrates, bacteria, and decay fungi allows for the recycling of the lignocellulosic complex, and in so doing, forms the widely recognized complexity of biodiversity associated with the world’s forests.

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