Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (0 bytes)

Title: Decline as a disease category: Is it helpful?

Author: Ostry, M.E.; Venette, R.C.; Juzwik, J.;

Date: 2011

Source: Phytopathology. 101: 404-409.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Many, but not all, forest pathologists use "decline" to describe forest tree diseases of complex etiology. We contend that this distinction from abiotic or biotic diseases is completely arbitrary, has caused undue confusion, and provides no practical insights for forest managers. All diseases are complex and can be characterized within the conceptual framework of the disease triangle. Why do we use a simple label ("decline") to describe disease situations of complex abiotic and biotic origin when we need to know which damaging agents are present, whether the environment is conducive for disease progression, and host susceptibility over time to understand the origins and management of disease? We propose that forest pathologists discontinue the use of "decline" as a distinct category of disease. Furthermore, we suggest that new diseases should be named based on the affected host, characteristic symptom, and, once known, major determinant. We believe that clearer communication in describing complex diseases is a prerequisite to finding effective management options.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.



Ostry, M.E.; Venette, R.C.; Juzwik, J. 2011. Decline as a disease category: Is it helpful?. Phytopathology. 101: 404-409.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.