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    Increasingly more research has focused on characterizing diversity within forest pathogen populations using molecular markers but few studies have characterized features of the landscape that help create or maintain this diversity. Forest diseases commonly occur in patchy distributions across natural landscapes which can be reflected in the genetic composition of the fragmented pathogen populations. This metapopulation structure has seldom been examined by forest pathologists but we believe it offers a potential means to understand the genetic ecology of pathogens in natural landscapes. Molecular markers can be used to detect, identify, and measure detailed differences among subpopulations of forest pathogens. Geographical information systems, spatial analysis and modeling, digital imagery of remotely sensed images, and other tools of landscape ecology provide the means to detect and interpret patterns associated with genotypic asymmetry. Integrating the tools and concepts of molecular biology and landscape ecology by focusing on metapopulation disease phenomena offers a way of conceptually linking molecules and ecosystems.

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    Lundquist, John E.; Klopfenstein, Ned B. 2001. Integrating concepts of landscape ecology with the molecular biology of forest pathogens. Forest Ecology and Management. 150(3): 213-222.


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    forest diseases, molecular markers, metapopulations

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