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Wood-inhabiting fungi in stems of Fraxinus excelsior in declining ash stands of northern Lithuania, with particular reference to Armillaria cepistipes

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Stem bases of 210 Fraxinus excelsior trees of three different health categories were sampled by the means of an increment borer in declining ash stands in northern Lithuania. From this number, 15 sound-looking, 132 declining and 63 dead trees from three discrete plots yielded 352 isolates, representing 75 fungal species. In addition, mycelial fans and rhizomorphs typical of Armillaria spp. from 205 and 20 trees, respectively, were sampled and subjected to fungal isolations. Species richness was similar in trees from each health category, but community structures differed, indicating that species composition of wood-inhabiting fungi in stems changes along with the changes in tree health condition. Armillaria cepistipes was the most common species (86 isolates from 210 wood samples, or 41.0%), isolated more frequently and consistently than any other potential tree pathogen. It also showed abundant occurrence on a majority of trees in the form of mycelial fans and rhizomorphs, from which 64 and 14 isolates of the fungus were obtained, respectively. The population structure of A. cepistipes revealed the presence of 53–93 genets per hectare, some of which extended up to 30–55m.

Keywords: European ash; forest decline; fungal community; genets; population structure; root rot; tree pathogens

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02827580510036238

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden 2: Botanical Institute, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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