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Invasion frameworks: A forest pathogen perspective

Paap, T., Wingfield, M.J., Burgess, T.I.ORCID: 0000-0002-7962-219X, Wilson, J.R.U., Richardson, D.M. and Santini, A. (2022) Invasion frameworks: A forest pathogen perspective. Current Forestry Reports, 8 (1). pp. 74-89.

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Purpose of Review

Within the discipline of invasion science, researchers studying different taxonomic groups have developed distinct ways of investigating the phenomenon of biological invasions. While there have been efforts to reconcile these differences, a lack of knowledge of diversity, biogeography and ecology hampers researchers seeking to understand invasive microorganisms, including invasive forest pathogens (IFPs).

Recent Findings

Advances in molecular technologies such as gene and genome sequencing and metagenomics studies have increased the ‘visibility’ of microorganisms, providing opportunities to better integrate forest pathology and invasion science. The two fields have much to gain from closer collaboration.


We propose a modified version of the Unified Framework for Biological Invasions to accommodate IFPs, recognising the challenges and limitations, and suggest options for tackling these issues. We explore the pathways by which IFPs are transported and in doing so highlight the need for the refinement of current pathway frameworks to better accommodate IFPs. With a clearer understanding of how microorganisms move around and the stages they pass through to become invasive, we hope that forest pathologists will better understand how and why invasions occur and, importantly, where, when, and how invasions can be stopped or mitigated. We call for a broader incorporation of ecological and evolutionary concepts to address the complex challenges of identifying and managing IFPs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Springer Nature
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