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Presence of Heterobasidion infections in Norway spruce stumps 6 years after treatment with Phlebiopsis gigantea

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Natural colonization by the root and butt rot causing fungi Heterobasidion spp. on Norway spruce (Picea abies) stumps following thinning and treatment with the biological control agent Phlebiopsis gigantea was investigated on three sites in southern Sweden 6 years after treatment. The fully treated stumps and control stumps were excavated and sampled to compare the survival of Heterobasidion spp. in the long term. Six years post‐treatment, 47 and 11% of untreated and treated stumps, respectively, had Heterobasidion infection. There was no difference in the relative infected area in discs collected from the butt and the roots for the different treatments. Control efficacy was 83% for treated stumps. After 6 years, there were no apparent differences between the remaining infections in treated compared with those in untreated stumps regarding the number of colonies, their size or relative infection area. Although infections, 3 months after treatment with P. gigantea, were significantly fewer and smaller than in untreated stumps, Heterobasidion inoculum can survive for at least 6 years in the stump and, when it does, constitute a risk for neighbouring trees.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: BC Ministry of Natural Resource Operations, Kamloops, BC, Canada

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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