Understanding the symbiosis between plants and pathogenic microbes is at the core of effective disease management for crops and managed forests. At the same time, plant-pathogen interactions comprise a wonderfully diverse set of ecological relationships that are powerful and yet so commonplace that they often go unnoticed. Ecologists and evolutionary biologists are increasingly exploring the terrain of plant disease ecology, investigating topics such as how pathogens shape diversity in plant communities, how features of plant-microbe interactions including host range and mutualism/antagonism evolve, and how biological invasions, climate change, and other agents of global change can drive disease emergence. Traditional training in ecology and evolutionary biology seldom provides structured exposure to plant pathology or microbiology, and training in plant pathology rarely offers depth in the theoretical frameworks of evolutionary ecology or includes examples from complex wild ecosystems. This novel textbook seeks to unite the research communities of plant disease ecology and plant pathology by bridging this gap.
Part 1: Plant Pathogens and Disease
1. Thinking like a plant disease ecologist
2. How to be a plant
3. How to be a fungus
4. How to be an oomycete
5. How to be a bacterium
6. How to be a virus
7. How to be a macroparasite
8. Types of diseases
9. How to do disease ecology
Part 2: Evolutionary Ecology of Plant-Pathogen Symbioses
10. The population ecology of plant disease
11. Spatial ecology
12. Physiology and genetics
14. Community ecology
15. The plant microbiome
16. Global change
17. Disease management
Gregory S. Gilbert is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, University of California Santa Cruz, USA. He is a plant pathologist and forest ecologist, and his research interests include the dynamics of plant and fungal communities, as well as the application of evolutionary ecology to environmental problem-solving. He is the Director of the UCSC Forest Ecology Research Plot and is a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama.
Ingrid M. Parker is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Santa Cruz, USA. She is a plant evolutionary ecologist, and her research interests include plant disease ecology, the invasion of non-native species, the evolution of domestication, ecological restoration, and plant conservation. She is a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama.
"This is a true learning tool. I can't wait to use it in introductory plant pathology courses and to share it with the public when they say, "You're a what? Plant pathologist?""
– Alejandra Huerta, Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, USA
"Essential reading for students of all levels: from the scientifically curious layperson to the seasoned specialist."
– Charles Mitchell, Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
"This treatise is impressive in its comprehensive and understandable introduction to the basic biology of diverse plant pathogens, and the complex interactions that they have with their plant hosts. There is a lot to learn and think about in this book!"
– Steven E. Lindow, Professor Emeritus, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, USA