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General classification

In this section, you can obtain information on the damage caused by pathogenic fungi. There are two different ways to access the technical fact sheet:

  • Go through the classification according to taxonomic levels (classification and nomenclature based on morphological and sexual characteristics).
  • Consult the alphabetic index containing the Latin names, synonyms, and English and French names.

Note: This section contains some more technical terminology. For ready access to information on the damage caused by living or abiotic pathogenic organisms, you should go to the section entitled "Types of damage".

Taxonomic classification of fungi

In order to make sense of the infinite diversity of fungal species, biologists have developed a classification system and a nomenclature that are based on morphological and sexual characteristics. Taxonomy consists of the rules that govern the classification and the nomenclature used to identify species. The highest level employed in taxonomic systems is the kingdom, and fungi form one of the five kingdoms of living organisms. Classifying the fungi that belong to this kingdom is a complex task and one that involves continuous re-examination.

The kingdom of fungi is composed of four divisions:

Asci and ascospores Asci and ascospores
Ascomycete fungus Ascomycete fungus

During sexual reproduction, these fungi produce a structure called an ascus (from the Latin word ascus = sac) which contains ascospores.

Basidia and basidiospores Asci and ascospores
Basidiomycete fungus Ascomycete fungus

This type of fungus reproduces sexually by producing spores (basidiospores), which are borne on external structures called basidia.

Anamorphic fungi

"Other" fungi, i.e. fungi that lack sexual stages entirely or these stages have not been identified.


These "lower" fungi form hyphae that are usually plurinucleate and do not form septa (cross walls). This taxonomic division is not very important from the standpoint of forest pathology and therefore it is not dealt with on this site.

Classification of other pathogens or organisms

Plants (Kingdom: Plantae)

Parasite plants of plants causing damages to trees are part of the following divisions:


Some organisms growing on plants are part of the division Myxomycota:

Bacteria (Kingdom: Bacteria)

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