Community ecology of fungal pathogens on Bromus tectorum – Chapter 7

View Chapter 7 of the book, Exotic brome-grasses in arid and semiarid ecosystems of the western US: causes, consequences, and management implications.

Bromus tectorum presents a rich resource for soil microorganisms because of its abundant production of biomass, seeds, and surface litter. These organisms interact dynamically with abiotic factors such as interannual variation in weather, with other soil microorganisms, with their hosts, and with each other to create spatially and temporally varying patterns of endemic or epidemic disease. Five principal soil borne pathogens, Ustilago bullata, Tilletia bromi, Pyrenophora semeniperda, Fusarium, and a new species in the Rutstroemiaceae (bleach blonde syndrome pathogen), are known to have sometimes major impacts on B. tectorum seed bank dynamics, seedling emergence, and seed production. Naturally occurring fungal pathogens that can have a strong negative impact on B. tectorum success have also been considered as candidate organisms for B. tectorum biocontrol using an augmentative mycoherbicidal strategy.

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