USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics Tree Mortality

Climate and Forest Diseases

Forest plant diseases are heavily influenced by weather and climate. For forest pathogenic fungi, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms, the temperature and moisture conditions interacting with the host determine infection severity and disease distribution.

Extreme weather, i.e. drought or typhoons, can kill large expanses of trees directly by overwhelming tree physiological and structural strength. Patterns and rates of wood decay, caused by forest fungi, are also expected to change in response to climate changes which will influence forest carbon cycles.

Expected changes in climate coupled with the increasing stresses of invasive species, lack of fire, and forest fragmentation are creating conducive conditions for many forest plant diseases.