Effects of Irrigation, Fertilization and Drought on the Occurrence of Lophodermium piceae in Picea abies Needles
Effects of irrigation, drought and fertilization on the frequency of the fungal endophyte Lophodermium piceae in green needles was assessed in a 30-year-old experimental stand of Picea abies in southern Sweden. Frequencies of needles with L. piceae were lower in irrigation and ammonium sulphate fertilization treatments than in the control. Drought treatment frequencies were similar to the control. Needles were susceptible to colonization for at least 3 years; colonization increased with needle age. The results indicate that the increased availability of water to the root system as well as ammonium sulphate fertilization indirectly delays colonization of needles by L. piceae.