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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SEMIARID RANGELAND ECOSYSTEMS: THE CONSERVATION-PRODUCTION INTERFACE

Location: Rangeland Resources Research

Title: Controls on pathogen species richness in plants introduced and native ranges: roles of residence time, range size and host traits

Authors
item Mitchell, Charles -
item BLUMENTHAL, DANA
item Jarosik, Vojtech -
item Puckett, E -
item Pysek, Petr -

Submitted to: Ecology Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 27, 2010
Publication Date: December 1, 2010
Citation: Mitchell, C.M., Blumenthal, D.M., Jarosik, V., Puckett, E.E., Pysek, P. 2010. Controls on pathogen species richness in plants introduced and native ranges: roles of residence time, range size and host traits. Ecology Letters. 13:1525-1535.

Interpretive Summary: Introduction of plants and animals to new geographic regions allows them to escape many diseases, raising two questions. How quickly do introduced species accumulate diseases? Do the same factors control disease accumulation as in the native range? We analyzed the number of fungal and viral diseases infecting 124 plant species in both their native European range and introduced North American range. More disease species were supported by plants introduced longer ago. Moreover, while host biological traits strongly influenced the number of diseases plants hosted in their native range, the number of diseases hosted in the introduced range was driven by the plant hosts’ residence time, agricultural use and geographical range size. Our results indicate that introduced species accumulate diseases at rates that are both slow relative to most ecological processes, and contingent on geographic and historic circumstance.

Technical Abstract: Introduction of hosts to new geographic regions allows them to escape many pathogens, raising two questions. How quickly do introduced hosts accumulate pathogens? Do the same factors control pathogen accumulation as in the native range? We analyzed fungal and viral pathogen species richness on 124 plant species in both their native European range and introduced North American range. More pathogen species were supported by hosts introduced longer ago. Moreover, while host biological traits were important controls on pathogen richness in hosts’ native range, pathogen richness in the introduced range was driven by host residence time, agricultural use and range size. Our results indicate that introduced hosts accumulate pathogens at rates that are both slow relative to most ecological processes, and contingent on geographic and historic circumstance.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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