Pathogens and the structure of plant communities

Andrew P. Dobson, Mick Crawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


There is increasing interest in the direct and indirect effects of pathogens and parasites on the structure of plant communities. The direct influence of pathogens is seen in cases where pathogens reduce the populations of adult and seedling plants or prevent the recruitment of seeds. Indirect effects occur when epidemic outbreaks or endemic parasites of herbivores lead to reductions in grazing pressure, which temporarily allow plants to escape from the detrimental effects of their herbivores. In both cases, the presence of pathogens can lead to changes in the relative abundance of the species in a plant community, which are discernible for many years after the initial disease outbreak has passed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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