Forest ecosystem responses to exotic pests and pathogens in eastern North America

Gary M. Lovett, Charles D. Canham, Mary A. Arthur, Kathleen C. Weathers, Ross D. Fitzhugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

410 Scopus citations


The forests of eastern North America have been subjected to repeated introductions of exotic insect pests and pathogens over the last century, and several new pests are currently invading, or threatening to invade, the region. These pests and pathogens can have major short- and long-term impacts on forest ecosystem processes such as productivity, nutrient cycling, and support of consumer food webs. We identify six key features of the biology of exotic animal pests and the ecology of their hosts that are critical to predicting the general nature and severity of those impacts. Using three examples of introduced pests and pathogens in eastern forest ecosystems, we provide a conceptual framework for assessing potential ecosystem-scale effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-405
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the US National Science Foundation (grants DEB 0129138, DEB 0423259, and DEB 0444895) and the USDA Forest Service (Cooperative Agreement 04CA112443074).


  • Forest
  • Invasive species
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Pathogens
  • Pests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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