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Pautasso M.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Pautasso M.,Center for Biodiversity Synthesis and Analysis
CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources | Year: 2013

Phytophthora ramorum is a generalist plant pathogen that has been subject to a remarkable amount of research activity. One decade after its description, this oomycete now affects a wide range of hosts in both North America and Europe, both in the wild and in ornamental plant trade (e.g., Camellia, Rhododendron, Pieris). Research on the biology, epidemiology and management of P. ramorum has not only rapidly expanded, but has also become increasingly interdisciplinary. In this overview, three examples of interdisciplinary collaboration concerning P. ramorum are presented: (1) network epidemiology (the application of network theory to epidemiology), (2) landscape pathology (the use of landscape ecology tools in the study of regional outbreaks of tree pathogens) and (3) conservation biogeography (a biogeographical perspective in conservation biology). Building on these approaches, three-way collaboration among network epidemiologists, landscape pathologists and conservation biogeographers (as well as e.g., molecular biologists, social and climate change scientists) is now needed to improve our understanding and management of the P. ramorum emergency, and many other challenges to plant health worldwide. Source

Pautasso M.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Pautasso M.,Center for Biodiversity Synthesis and Analysis
Annali di Botanica | Year: 2013

forest ecosystems face multiple challenges due to climate change, invasive species, urbanization, land use change and the interactions between these global change drivers. this review provides an overview of such challenges for the case study of insubria. insubria is a region on the southern side of the european alps, famous for its stunning lakes (e.g., como, Garda, Lugano, Maggiore), blessed by a relatively mild and humid climate, and shaped by the geologic fault line between the african and european plates. Global change impacts in insubria pose a threat to its biodiversity and chestnut woodlands, particularly through modified winter forest fire regimes. insubric biodiversity conservation, in turn, is essential to counteract the effects of climate change. sustainable management of insubric forests is made more difficult by rural abandonment, air pollution and invasive exotic species. there is a need to develop reliable long-term bio-indicators and to predict the shift of insubric species, ecosystems and treelines due to rapid climate changes. insubric studies on forests and global change call for enhanced international collaboration in forest management and research. interdisciplinary approaches are needed to move from studies of single global change drivers to experiments, scenarios and models taking into account their combination and our responses to global change. Source

Pautasso M.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Pautasso M.,Center for Biodiversity Synthesis and Analysis
Sustainability | Year: 2012

Biologists are producing ever-increasing quantities of papers. The question arises of whether current rates of increase in scientific outputs are sustainable in the long term. I studied this issue using publication data from the Web of Science (1991-2010) for 18 biological sub-fields. In the majority of cases, an exponential regression explains more variation than a linear one in the number of papers published each year as a function of publication year. Exponential growth in publication numbers is clearly not sustainable. About 75% of the variation in publication growth among biological sub-fields over the two studied decades can be predicted by publication data from the first six years. Currently trendy fields such as structural biology, neuroscience and biomaterials cannot be expected to carry on growing at the current pace, because in a few decades they would produce more papers than the whole of biology combined. Synthetic and systems biology are problematic from the point of view of knowledge dissemination, because in these fields more than 80% of existing papers have been published over the last five years. The evidence presented here casts a shadow on how sustainable the recent increase in scientific publications can be in the long term. © 2012 by the authors. Source

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