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Relationship between stump treatment coverage using the biological control product PG Suspension, and control of Heterobasidion annosum on Corsican pine, Pinus nigra ssp. laricio

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The relationship between the proportion of the stump surface covered by the biological stump treatment agent PG Suspension, containing Phlebiopsis gigantea and its efficacy against the pathogen Heterobasidion annosum sensu stricto was studied during a first thinning of Corsican pine (Pinus nigra ssp. laricio) in Thetford Forest, UK. PG Suspension was manually applied to 100%, 75%, 50% or 0% of the surface of 150 stumps. Spores of H. annosum were inoculated onto 75 of the stumps, and the remaining stumps exposed to natural airborne spore deposition. The relationship between coverage and efficacy was found to be quantitative. Covering all the stump surface with PG Suspension completely excluded the pathogen, whereas stumps not treated with PG Suspension (the 0% treatment) became infected with H. annosum. Partial (75%) PG Suspension coverage resulted in the pathogen colonizing 40% of stumps following artificial inoculation with H. annosum, and just 7% of stumps exposed to ambient H. annosum spore infection. Decreasing levels of coverage allowed increasing areas of the stump surface to be colonized by H. annosum. Some small gaps in coverage were closed by lateral growth of P. gigantea, but it is recommended that operators aim for full stump coverage to give complete protection against H. annosum.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Aberdeen, School of Biological Sciences, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Cruickshank Building, Aberdeen, UK 2: Tree Health Division, Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LH, UK

Publication date: 01 February 2008

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