Review: Impacts of fungal hitchhikers on biosecurity

chalara-symptoms-05When a plant species is introduced to a new region, it brings with it “hitchhikers” – other associated organisms. Sometimes, these hitchhikers negatively impact the environment into which they are introduced, for example by facilitating the host’s invasiveness, or through direct detrimental effects (such as pathogenicity) on native plants. Factors that determine whether a hitchhiker will be harmful include how likely it is to shift to a new host and its life history strategy. Burgess et al. review the possible outcomes of fungal hitchhikers during tree invasions, and argue that this is a facet of invasion biology that has been understudied. AoB Plants 10.1093/aobpla/plw076 Image credit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-92AHUK