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Predicting the severity of Cyclaneusma minus on Pinus radiata under current climate in New Zealand

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Despite being a damaging foliar disease of Pinus species, little research has characterized spatial variation in disease severity of Cyclaneusma needle cast at a macroscale. Using an extensive data set describing Cyclaneusma needle cast (S sev) on plantation-grown Pinus radiata D. Don stands distributed widely across New Zealand, the objectives of this research were to (i) develop a regression model describing S sev, (ii) use this model to identify key drivers of S sev and their functional form and relative importance, and (iii) develop spatial predictions of S sev for New Zealand P. radiata under current climate. Using an independent validation data set, the final model accounted for 73% of the variance in S sev using four significant (P < 0.001) explanatory variables and an isotrophic exponential model to account for the spatial covariance in the data. S sev was most sensitive to elevation followed by mean winter air temperature, mean relative humidity during July, and then stand age. S sev increased to a maximum at mean winter air temperatures of between 7 and 9 °C before declining. Relationships between S sev and all other variables were linear and positive. Spatial predictions of S sev varied widely throughout New Zealand. Values of S sev were highest in moderately warm, wet, and humid high-elevation environments located in the central North Island. In contrast, relatively low values of S sev were predicted in drier eastern and southern regions of New Zealand.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Scion, P.O. Box 29237, Fendalton, Christchurch, New Zealand. 2: Scion, New Zealand Forest Research Institute Ltd., P.O. Box 3020, Rotorua, New Zealand.

Publication date: 2012-04-12

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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