Invasive forest pathogens are usually the result of a fungal infection and are a problem for all types of forests: urban, commercial, and natural. Pathogens can dramatically decrease the population of a single species within forests which can severely impact forest functions. Urban forests increase property values, reduce energy costs for nearby homes, improve air and water quality, and provide aesthetic value. Natural forests provide environmental services and hold intrinsic social values for Canadians.
The commercial forest is a pivotal economic need for Canada. It provides a significant portion of our gross domestic product and a large number of jobs. The detrimental impacts on trees by invasive pathogens do not stop with the trees – they affect every aspect of the ecosystem including the wildlife that relies on that ecosystem.