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Epiphytology of a Needle Cast Fungus, Lophodermella morbida, in Ponderosa Pine Plantations in Western Oregon

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Lophodermella morbida Staley and Bynum, a recently described needle cast fungus, is epiphytotic in plantations of ponderosa pine in the Douglas-fir forest type above 2,500 ft (760 m) on the western slope of the Cascade Range in southwestern Oregon. Mature ascospores are discharged during periods of rain from early June through mid-July. Only foliage recently emerged from the fascicle sheath becomes infected. Infected foliage drops from the tree by late summer of the next year. Growth of repeatedly infected trees is reduced; however, mortality appears to be slight. Probably L. morbida is a native fungus catapulted to prominence on a susceptible host planted on unfavorable sites under climatic conditions favoring the disease. Ponderosa pine should no longer be planted on these sites. Such sites especially include ridgetops and natural basins where clouds tend to linger after a general storm. The risk to ponderosa pine stands east of the Cascade crest appears minimal because of limited early summer moisture and cold winter temperatures. Forest Sci. 22:223-230.
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Keywords: Pinus ponderosa; foliage disease; forest damage; fungus disease

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Plant Pathologist, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Publication date: 1976-06-01

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    Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
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