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Probit Analysis of Oak Wilt Transmission Through Root Grafts in Red Oak Stands

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In pure stands of red oak species (subgenus Erythrobalanus) in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, individual oak wilt epicenters appear to expand virtually exclusively by movement of the pathogen through root grafts between diseased and healthy trees. Containment of individual disease epicenters can be accomplished by a combination of timely separation of grafted root systems and sanitation (to prevent overland establishment of new epicenters). Disease spread models were developed by probit analysis of field data. These models predict the probability that the oak wilt fungus will spread across root grafts to a healthy (target) tree during the year alter symptoms occur in a neighboring diseased (source) tree. Movement of the fungus was best predicted by a logarithmic transformation of the quotient obtained by dividing the sum of the diameters for the potential source and target trees by the distance between these trees. Multiple-stemmed source or target trees were accurately represented by the sum of the diameters of their component stems. Soil type was found to influence the relationship, presumably through its effect on rooting habit. Oak root systems appear to extend over greater distances through soils of the deeper and more uniformly sandy Grayling series than through those of the loamier Pemene series. The specific models developed depend on site-related data, and therefore should not be applied in other areas. However, the modeling approach is of general applicability and can be used to predict root graft spread of oak wilt in other areas. For. Sci. 37(1):28-44.

Keywords: Ceratocystis fagacearum; probability of disease spread; root graft transmission

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Tree and Shrub Field Service Manager, Chemlawn Corp., Hickory Hills, IL 60457

Publication date: 1991-03-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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