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Occurrence of Bursaphelenchus species in declining Pinus sylvestris in a dry Alpine valley in Switzerland

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We determined the incidence of Bursaphelenchus species in declining Pinus sylvestris stands in the Swiss Alps. A total of 217 trees showing different degree of decline were sampled from various locations in Valais between 2001 and 2004. Bursaphelenchus species were only found in recently dead or dying trees with an overall incidence of 40%. There was a positive relationship between Bursaphelenchus infestation and blue stain in these trees. Five Bursaphelenchus species were identified: Bursaphelenchus vallesianus, Bursaphelenchus mucronatus, Bursaphelenchus sexdentati, Bursaphelenchus leoni and Bursaphelenchus silvestris. The most frequent species were B. vallesianus detected in 75% and B. mucronatus in 20% of all Bursaphelenchus-positive trees. Bursaphelenchus vallesianus is a recently described species within the B. sexdentati group, and could be a contributing factor in the observed pine decline in Valais.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Research Department Forests, Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland., Email: 2: Landesamt für Verbraucherschutz, Landwirtschaft und Flurneuordnung, Brandenburg, Wünsdorf, Germany 3: Kantstraße, Potsdam, Germany 4: Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology and Biosafety, Braunschweig, Germany

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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