Insect and disease activity (2003)This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Why Are Insects and Diseases Important? Native insects and diseases are a natural part of ecosystems and are essential to the ecological balance in natural forests (Castello and others 1995). In contrast, nonnative insects and diseases can pose a particular threat because ecosystems often lack natural internal controls of these agents. The activity of both native and nonnative insects and pathogens (i.e., diseasecausing microorganisms) is related to a suite of both natural and anthropogenic factors such as climate and management activities. Insects and diseases can influence patterns and processes of forested landscapes mostly through tree mortality or reduced tree vigor, which in some cases result in ecological or economic impacts, or both.