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Keywords:

  • forest management;
  • forest pathogens;
  • plant disease management;
  • plant pathogens;
  • sudden aspen decline;
  • yellow-cedar decline

As climate changes, the effects of forest diseases on forest ecosystems will change. We review knowledge of relationships between climate variables and several forest diseases, as well as current evidence of how climate, host and pathogen interactions are responding or might respond to climate change. Many forests can be managed to both adapt to climate change and minimize the undesirable effects of expected increases in tree mortality. We discuss four types of forest and disease management tactics – monitoring, forecasting, planning and mitigation – and provide case studies of yellow-cedar decline and sudden aspen decline to illustrate how forest diseases might be managed in the face of climate change. The uncertainties inherent to climate change effects can be diminished by conducting research, assessing risks, and linking results to forest policy, planning and decision making.