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Physiological plant disorders are caused by non-pathological disorders such as poor light, weather damage, water-logging or a lack of nutrients, which affect the functioning of the plant system. Physiological disorder are distinguished from plant diseases caused by pathogens, such as a virus or fungus. Whilst the symptoms of physiological disorders may appear disease-like, they can usually be prevented by altering environmental conditions. However, once a plant shows symptoms of nutrient deficiency it is likely that that season’s yields will be reduced.

Causes of physiological disorders can be identified by examining:

• Where symptoms first appear on a plant—on new leaves, old leaves or all over?
• The pattern of any discolouration or yellowing—is it all over, between the veins or around the edges? If only the veins are yellow deficiency is probably not involved.
• Note general patterns rather than looking at individual plants—are the symptoms distributed throughout a group of plants of the same type growing together. In the case of a deficiency, all of the plants should be similarly affected, although distribution will depend on past treatments applied to the soil.
• Soil analysis, such as determining pH, can help to confirm the presence of physiological disorders. Recent conditions, such as heavy rains, dry spells, frosts, etc, may also help to determine the cause of plant disorders.

Significant abiotic disorders can be caused by:
Natural: drought, frost, damage, and breakage by snow and hail, flooding and poor drainage, nutrient deficiency, s deposition and other soluble mineral excesses (e.g. gypsum), wind (windburn, and breakage by hurricanes and tornadoes), lightning and wildfire (also often man-made),
Man-made:(arguably not abiotic, but usually regarded as such) soil compaction, pollution of air and/or soil, salt from winter road salt application, herbicide over-application, poor-education and training of people working with plants (e.g. lawnmower can damage trees), vandalism. (Wikipedia)


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