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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Soil- and waterborne Phytophthora species linked to recent outbreaks in Northern California restoration sites


Many studies around the globe have identified plant production facilities as major sources of plant pathogens that may be released in the wild, with significant consequences for the health and integrity of natural ecosystems. Recently, a large number of soilborne and waterborne species belonging to the plant pathogenic genus Phytophthora have been identified for the first time in California native plant production facilities, including those focused on the production of plant stock used in ecological restoration efforts. Additionally, the same Phytophthora species present in production facilities have often been identified in failing restoration projects, further endangering plant species already threatened or endangered. To our knowledge, the identification of Phytophthora species in restoration areas and in plant production facilities that produce plant stock for restoration projects is a novel discovery that finds many land managers unprepared, due to a lack of previous experience with these pathogens. This review summarizes some of the key knowledge about the genus Phytophthora in general and lists some of the many soilborne and waterborne species recently recovered from some California restoration sites and plant production facilities.

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