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Effect of Thinning and Phlebiopsis gigantea Stump Treatment on the Growth of Heterobasidion parviporum Inoculated in Picea abies

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The spread of Heterobasidion parviporum Niemelä & Korhonen in roots of Norway spruce was studied in three unthinned first rotation stands of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] on former agricultural land in south-western Sweden. Heterobasidion parviporum was inoculated at stump height into the trunk of 135 standing trees in a randomized block design. One year after inoculation, two-thirds of the trees were thinned out and one-third was left standing. Half of the stumps left by thinning were treated with spores of Phlebiopsis gigantea (Fr.) Jül and half were left untreated. The spread of H. parviporum was examined both 3 and 5 yrs after inoculation. The rate of spread of H. parviporum and the proportion of infected roots were found to be significantly higher in the root systems of the stumps than in those of the standing trees. Treatment with P. gigantea had no significant effect on the development of H. parviporum in the stumps. There was a tendency 5 yrs after inoculation, however, for a lower proportion of H. parviporum-infected roots in the stumps treated with P. gigantea than in the untreated stumps. In conclusion, thinning of infected Norway spruce was found to increase the rate of spread of H. parviporum in the root systems of the infected trees, which could increase the risk of a rapid build-up of infection in the remaining stand.
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Keywords: Butt rot; Heterobasidion annosum; Norway spruce; incidence; root rot; spread rate

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2003

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