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Insect-Fungal Complex Associated with Loblolly Pine Decline in Central Alabama

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Abstract:

Loblolly pine decline, characterized by an expanding area of declining and dead trees, is becoming increasingly prevalent in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) forests in central Alabama. A 3-year study was conducted to determine the fungal, root, and lower stem-infesting insect, and/or soil parameters associated with this decline. Hylastes salebrosus, Hylastes tenuis, Pachylobius picivorus, and Hylobius pales were significantly more abundant in declining plots than in asymptomatic plots. Root- and lower stem-infesting insects consistently carried Leptographium terebrantis, L. procerum, and L. serpens. Sampled roots had high levels of root damage, mortality, and staining typically associated with Leptographium species. Root damage and mortality preceded aboveground symptoms of short chlorotic needles, sparse crowns, reduced radial growth, and tree mortality. A sequence of biotic and abiotic factors is proposed as the cause of loblolly pine decline complex.

Keywords: Leptographium; bark beetles; forest decline; root disease; weevils

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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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.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

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

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
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