Biological Invasions

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 5–8 | Cite as

Emerging pathogens can suppress invaders and promote native species recovery

  • S. Luke Flory
  • Christina Alba
  • Keith Clay
  • Robert D. Holt
  • Erica M. Goss

Mounting evidence demonstrates the emergence and accumulation of pathogens on non-native plant invaders (Schall and Davis 2009; Diez et al. 2010; Stricker et al. 2016), with many possible outcomes. We define an “emerging pathogen” as any pathogen that increases in incidence, range, or severity, not necessarily limited to new pathogens, and accumulation as increased pathogen diversity or effects over time. Pathogen accumulation may have no effect on invaders due to tolerance or compensation, could exacerbate invasions via spillback or spillover of pathogens to native species, or might lead to suppression of invaders and recovery of native species (Flory and Clay 2013). Recently we documented accumulation of pathogens and reduced performance of a widespread invader due to infectious disease (Flory et al. 2011; Stricker et al. 2016), but research elucidating longer-term outcomes of pathogen accumulation in invaded communities is lacking.

Policelli et al. (2017) assert that pathogen...


Invasive plant Non-native species Pathogen accumulation Plant disease Spillback Spillover 



We thank members of the Flory Lab for reviewing an earlier draft of the manuscript. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation (DEB 1415853 to SLF and DMS 1515661/1515442 to RDH) and by the University of Florida Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agronomy DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Plant Pathology DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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