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    The breakdown or decay of wood is a prominent process in landscape health and disease. The bulk of the energy captured and stored by natural woodlands, orchards, and agroforestry operations is allocated to produce wood. The release of that stored energy and the cycling of the constituent mineral elements into environmental pools and other organisms is through processes of wood decay. Wood decay is an ordered process, primarily through the biology of specialized fungi and associated microorganisms and arthropods. Traditionally, plant pathologists viewed wood decay in terms of lost economic value of timber, products, and secondarily as a potential source of risk for structural failure of urban and community trees. Mycologists studied the great diversity of wood decay fungi in terms of taxonomy or natural history. More recent research has focused on the role of wood decay in the development of healthy trees and forests and biogeochemical cycling.

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    Smith, Kevin T. 2018. Tree disease and wood decay as agents of environmental and social change. In: Proceedings of the landscape disease symposium; 2018 January 16; Santa Paula, CA: Santa Paula, CA: University of California, Ventura County Cooperative Extension: 25-30.

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