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Triumph of the FungiA Rotten History$
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Nicholas P. Money

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195189711

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189711.001.0001

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Blights, Rusts, and Rots Never Sleep: A Look at Forestry and Agriculture, Biological Warfare, and the Global Impact of Fungal Disease

Blights, Rusts, and Rots Never Sleep: A Look at Forestry and Agriculture, Biological Warfare, and the Global Impact of Fungal Disease

Chapter:
(p.137) CHAPTER 8 Blights, Rusts, and Rots Never Sleep: A Look at Forestry and Agriculture, Biological Warfare, and the Global Impact of Fungal Disease
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Triumph of the Fungi
Author(s):

Nicholas P. Money

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189711.003.0008

This chapter explores the future of the ongoing competition between humans and fungi for control of the biosphere. The emerging diseases of white pine blister rust, sudden oak death, jarrah dieback, soybean rust, and rice blast offer useful perspectives on the planet’s rotten present and rotten future. The use of fungi as agents of agricultural and biological warfare is also featured. The global impact of fungal disease is highlighted, with the idea that a fungal super-pathogen of Cretaceous plants may have contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Keywords:   biosphere, white pine blister rust, sudden oak death, jarrah dieback, soybean rust, rice blast, super-pathogen, Cretaceous, dinosaurs

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