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Data from: Urbanization affects oak–pathogen interactions across spatial scales

Cite this dataset

van Dijk, Laura et al. (2021). Data from: Urbanization affects oak–pathogen interactions across spatial scales [Dataset]. Dryad.


The world is rapidly urbanizing, thereby transforming natural landscapes and changing the abundance and distribution of organisms. However, insights into the effects of urbanization on species interactions, and plant-pathogen interactions in particular, are lacking. We investigated the effects of urbanization on powdery mildew infection on Quercus robur at continental and within-city scales. At the continental scale, we compared infection levels between urban and rural areas of different-sized cities in Europe, and investigated whether plant traits, climatic variables and CO2 emissions mediated the effect of urbanization on infection levels. Within one large city (Stockholm, Sweden), we further explored whether local habitat features and spatial connectivity influenced infection levels during multiple years. At the continental scale, infection severity was consistently higher on trees in urban than rural areas, with some indication that temperature mediated this effect. Within Stockholm city, temperature had no effect, while local accumulation of leaf litter negatively affected powdery mildew incidence in one out of three years, and more connected trees had lower infection levels. This study is the first to describe the effects of urbanization on plant-pathogen interactions both within and among cities, and to uncover the potential mechanisms behind the observed patterns at each scale.


Dataset contains 2 field collections:

Oak leaves collected in urban and rural areas at the continental scale (5 trees per area), including small, medium and large cities in Spain, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Oak leaves collected within one large city (Stockholm, Sweden), during 3 years (2017-2019). 

All oak leaves were scored for powdery mildew infection.


Swedish Research Council, Award: 2015-03993