This part of the website highlights fungal species of relevance to plant health in Great Britain and Ireland. Some of the fungi listed here are economically or socially important pathogens, causing damage to crops, ornamental plants and native species. However, many other parasitic fungi have minimal impact on plant health, and may even provide benefits to the plant such as protection against herbivory.
Biotrophic species (such as rusts) obtain nutrition from but do not kill their hosts, although growth and economic value may be dramatically decreased. Necrotrophic fungi kill plant tissues, causing leaf spots, die-back, wilts etc. Fungi associated with disease symptoms are not necessarily the causal organisms; they may be secondary colonizers of the dead tissues. Information on the impact of fungi on native host plants is patchy and incomplete for many British and Irish species.
Many non-parasitic fungi show host/substratum specialisation, being fully or largely restricted to particular families or genera of plants. These are included in the Host Lists tab on the home page of this website, which also incorporates the species listed here.
The index below to fungi included in this web resource that are of relevance to plant health is organized by host genus.