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Precipitation and temperature as factors in Gremmeniella abietina epidemics

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The combination of temperature and precipitation during the growth season could be correlated with the occurrence of Gremmeniella abietina epidemics in Denmark. The Gremmeniella index value (GIV) is the result of the monthly rain in mm divided by average monthly temperature in centigrade (mm/°C) and it was created to facilitate easy prediction of epidemics in Denmark. The two most severe outbreaks of G. abietina in pine and other conifers in Denmark took place in 1963–64 and 1984–85, following years where low average temperatures and high precipitation in May combined with the same weather patterns in either August or September. These meteorological conditions were not fulfilled from 1874 to 1900, in which period Pinus nigra was pronounced unsuitable for Danish forestry because of recurring problems with fungal disease. However, the earlier epidemics seemed to coincide with cold and rainy weather (high GIV) in August. In addition, severity of epidemics may also depend on the presence of dense stands between 30 and 40 years of age, as high GIV in August has occurred without disease outbreak in periods with low frequency of susceptible stands. Gremmeniella abietina attacks in Denmark are initiated by the climatic conditions expressed by the Gremmeniella index value, although it does not explain the biological process behind this phenomenon. Nevertheless, the method could be useful for other regions, where epidemics of G. abietina may be related to weather.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-02-01

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