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Is the Pine Wood Nematode an Important Pathogen in the United States?

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The pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, causes a serious disease of native pines in Japan. The nematode was recently identified as a pathogen in the United States, and pathologists have speculated that it may threaten forests here. Its ability to kill native North American pines growing in forests has not been established, but evidence suggests that it kills exotic pines (Scotch pine, Pinus sylvestris, and Japanese black pine, P. thunbergii) in this country. Insect vectors transmit the nematode to cut timber and dying trees during vector oviposition. Thus the nematode can be present in dying trees without being the primary cause of death. Transmission during oviposition may explain its recent association with stressed trees in the United States.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Staff of the North Central Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, St. Paul

Publication date: 1984-04-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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