Can Phytophthora quercina have a negative impact on mature pedunculate oaks under field conditions?

Ulrika Jönsson Belyazid, Ulrika Rosengren

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10 Citations (SciVal)


Ten oak stands in southern Sweden were investigated to evaluate the impact of the root pathogen Phytophthora quercina on mature oaks under field conditions. Phytophthora quercina was present in five of the stands, while the other five stands were used as controls to verify the effect of the pathogen. In each stand, a healthy, a moderately declining and a severely declining tree were sampled. Fine-root length and nutrient status of each tree were analyzed, and the chemistry of the soil surrounding each tree was determined. The results showed that P. quercina can cause substantial reductions in the fine-root length of mature trees under natural conditions. The impact of the pathogen varied depending on tree vitality and season, being most pronounced for declining trees after an unusually dry summer. Despite the significant reduction in live fine-root length of declining trees in Phytophthora-infested stands, no consistent effects were found on the nutrient status of trees. Based on the significant impact of the pathogen on the fine-root systems of declining trees, we suggest that P. quercina contribute to oak decline in southern Sweden at the sites where it is present. No explanation is currently available for the decline of trees in non-infested stands, but the lack of symptoms of root damage indicate, together with the extensive root growth of declining trees, that root pathogens are not involved in the decline at these sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-672
JournalAnnals of Forest Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Plant Ecology and Systematics (Closed 2011) (011004000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Ecology


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