Until recently, Dothistroma needle blight has been uncommon and of little concern in lodgepole pine stands in western North America. During the past decade, however, prevalence of the disease has increased (Bradshaw 2004). In particular, northwestern British Columbia has reported severe damaged to managed and natural stands of lodgepole pine. For instance, recent low-level aerial surveys conducted over 40,000 ha of lodgepole-dominated managed stands showed 92% to be suffering varying degrees of damage. The foliar disease is now so prevalent and chronic that entire plantations of lodgepole pine are failing, and the severity of the disease is such that mature pine trees are also succumbing (Woods 2003). The situation in British Columbia is unique. Dothistroma needle blight is internationally considered a serious forest pathogen only in exotic plantations in the southern hemisphere (Gibson 1972; Bradshaw et al. 2000). However, the damage being reported in British Columbia is an example of disease severity in the northern hemisphere, where hosts are native, and mature stands are affected. In addition, the most serious impacts have been usually associated with the retardation of growth due to defoliation, rather than to mortality (Bradshaw 2004). It is imperative that changes in the extent and nature of Dothistroma needle blight outbreaks be determined to avoid future epidemics and develop comprehensive strategies for management of lodgepole pine in British Columbia. Dothistroma needle blight poses a significant threat to the growth and yield of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) in northwestern British Columbia. More numerous and longer reconstructions of past Dothistroma needle blight are clearly needed to improve our understanding of this disturbance agent. The purpose of this research is to compare the influence of climate on the extent and nature of past Dothistroma needle blight outbreaks to understand the spatial and temporal variations of the disease in forests of northwestern British Columbia. The main objective is to reconstruct both outbreak history and climate through dendrochronological techniques to determine the relationship between climate and the historical outbreak dynamics of the disease. Knowledge of the relationship between climate and outbreak history of Dothistroma needle blight will help to quantify the effects of climate change on disease spread and development which will allow better predictions of future impacts of climate change on forest health.
Lewis, Kathy J.. 2006. Relationships between climate, forest practices and incidence of Dothistroma needle blight septosporum. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2006MR298
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), Dothistroma, Pini, Dothistroma, Pini, effect, climate, on, Pinus, Diseases, Pests, Vegetation, Climate, British, Columbia
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