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Dieback of riparian alder caused by the Phytophthora alni complex: projected consequences for stream ecosystems

Bjelke, Ulf and Boberg, Johanna and Oliva Palau, Jonàs and Tattersdill, Kristina and Mckie, Brendan (2016). Dieback of riparian alder caused by the Phytophthora alni complex: projected consequences for stream ecosystems. Freshwater biology. 61:5, 565-579
[Article Review/Survey]

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fwb.12729

Abstract

Alder trees (Alnus spp.) are key nitrogen-fixing riparian species in the northern hemisphere. Inputs of nitrogen-rich leaf litter from alder into stream food webs can contribute significantly to nitrogen dynamics at local and landscape scales. Alder trees also provide habitats for terrestrial and aquatic organisms, and help stabilize river banks. 
Recently, substantial declines in alder stands have occurred along streams in Europe, with damages observed in some parts of North America also. A major driver has been the invasive oomycete pathogen Phytophthora alni species complex, which can spread rapidly along stream networks.
This review synthesises information on the pathogen, processes of spread and infection, and its impacts on alder. We further address the potential ecosystem-level and management consequences of the decline of alder, and highlight research needs.
The alder dieback caused by P. alni is associated with reductions in shade and quality and quantity of leaf litter. A decline in the structural integrity of branches and roots further threatens bank stability. Stream banks dominated by other tree species or no trees at all will result in ecosystem-level changes both above and below the waterline.
The P. alni taxonomic complex includes different species with varying phenotypes. An improved understanding of their environmental tolerances, virulence and evolution, along with the processes regulating the spread and impacts of the pathogen, would assist in identification of the riparian and stream systems most vulnerable not only to invasion but also to the heaviest disease outbreaks and ecosystem-level impacts.
Within the P. alni complex, the highly pathogenic hybrid species P. x alni is favoured by mild winters and warm, but not excessively hot summer temperatures suggesting possible changes in distribution and level of impact under future global climate change.

Authors/Creators:Bjelke, Ulf and Boberg, Johanna and Oliva Palau, Jonàs and Tattersdill, Kristina and Mckie, Brendan
Title:Dieback of riparian alder caused by the Phytophthora alni complex: projected consequences for stream ecosystems
Series/Journal:Freshwater biology (1365-2427)
Year of publishing :2016
Volume:61
Number:5
Page range:565-579
Number of Pages:15
Publisher:Wiley Periodicals
ISSN:1365-2427
Language:English
Publication Type:Article Review/Survey
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:M Aquatic sciences and fisheries > M40 Aquatic ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Microbiology (Microbiology in the medical area to be 30109)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Fish and Aquacultural Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:ecosystem change, invasive species, pathogens, riparian communities, running waters
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-4160
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-4160
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000373833400001
ID Code:14292
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Swedish Species Information Centre
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology
(S) > Dept. of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:10 May 2017 11:25
Metadata Last Modified:29 May 2017 12:49

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