Browsing by Subject "FOREST HEALTH"

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  • Junttila, Samuli; Sugano, Junko; Vastaranta, Mikko; Linnakoski, Riikka; Kaartinen, Harri; Kukko, Antero; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppa, Hannu; Hyyppa, Juha (2018)
    Changing climate is increasing the amount and intensity of forest stress agents, such as drought, pest insects, and pathogens. Leaf water content, measured here in terms of equivalent water thickness (EWT), is an early indicator of tree stress that provides timely information about the health status of forests. Multispectral terrestrial laser scanning (MS-TLS) measures target geometry and reflectance simultaneously, providing spatially explicit reflectance information at several wavelengths. EWT and leaf internal structure affect leaf reflectance in the shortwave infrared region that can be used to predict EWT with MS-TLS. A second wavelength that is sensitive to leaf internal structure but not affected by EWT can be used to normalize leaf internal effects on the shortwave infrared region and improve the prediction of EWT. Here we investigated the relationship between EWT and laser intensity features using multisensor MS-TLS at 690, 905, and 1,550 nm wavelengths with both drought-treated and Endoconidiophora polonica inoculated Norway spruce seedlings to better understand how MS-TLS measurements can explain variation in EWT. In our study, a normalized ratio of two wavelengths at 905 and 1,550 nm and length of seedling explained 91% of the variation (R-2) in EWT as the respective prediction accuracy for EWT was 0.003 g/cm(2) in greenhouse conditions. The relation between EWT and the normalized ratio of 905 and 1,550 nm wavelengths did not seem sensitive to a decreased point density of the MS-TLS data. Based on our results, different EWTs in Norway spruce seedlings show different spectral responses when measured using MS-TLS. These results can be further used when developing EWT monitoring for improving forest health assessments.
  • Silva, Ximena; Roux, Jolanda; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2020)
    Background and objectives: The global forest economy is threatened by eucalypt pathogens which are often latent or cryptic species that escape common quarantine and detection methods. Plantation forestry using eucalypts is of considerable importance to Paraguay, but knowledge regarding the pests and diseases affecting these plantations is limited. This study identified fungal diseases present in these plantations. Materials and Methods: We surveyed eucalypt plantations in four provinces in Paraguay and collected material from diseased trees for identification of the causal agents. The samples were analyzed using a combination of morphological and molecular methods. Results: Diseases encountered included Botryosphaeria stem canker, Calonectria leaf blight, Chrysoporthe stem canker, myrtle/eucalypt rust, Coniella leaf spot, heartwood rot and Teratosphaeria stem canker. Contrary to expectations, the causal agent of Teratosphaeria stem canker was identified as Teratosphaeria zuluensis (M.J. Wingf., Crous & T.A. Cout.) M.J. Wingf. & Crous and not Teratosphaeria gauchensis (M.-N. Cortinas, Crous & M.J. Wingf.) M.J. Wingf. & Crous, that is commonly documented for the South American region. Conclusions: This study updates the knowledge on forest fungal pathogens in Paraguayan eucalypt plantations and is the first report of T. zuluensis in Paraguay and in South America.
  • Linnakoski, Riikka; Forbes, Kristian; Wingfield, Michael J.; Pulkkinen, Pertti; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2017)
    Climate changes, exemplified by increased temperatures and CO2 concentration, pose a global threat to forest health. Of particular concern are pests and pathogens, with a warming climate altering their distributions and evolutionary capacity, while impairing the ability of some plants to respond to infections. Progress in understanding and mitigating such effects is currently hindered by a lack of empirical research. Norway spruce (Picea abies) is one of the most economically important tree species in northern Europe, and is considered highly vulnerable to changes in climate. It is commonly infected by the fungus Endoconidiophora polonica, and we hypothesized that damage caused to trees will increase under future climate change predictions. To test this hypothesis an in vivo greenhouse experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of a changed growing environment on E. polonica infected Norway spruce seedlings, comparing ambient conditions to predicted temperatures and CO2 levels in Finland for the years 2030 and 2100. In total, 450 seedlings were randomized amongst the three treatments, with 25 seedlings from each allocated to inoculation with one of five different fungal strains or mock-inoculation. Seedlings were monitored throughout the thermal growing season for mortality, and lesion length and depth indices were measured at the experiment conclusion. Disease severity (mortality and lesions) was consistently greater in fungal-inoculated than mock-inoculated seedlings. However, substantial differences were observed among fungal strains in response to climate scenarios. For example, although overall seedling mortality was highest under the most distant (and severe) climate change expectations, of the two fungal strains with the highest mortality counts (referred to as F4 and F5), one produced greater mortality under the 2030 and 2100 scenarios than ambient conditions, whereas climate scenario had no effect on the other. This study contributes to a limited body of empirical research on the effects of projected climate changes on forestry pathosystems, and is the first to investigate interactions between Norway spruce and E. polonica. The results indicate the potential for future climate changes to alter the impact of forest pathogens with implications for productivity, while highlighting the need for a strain-specific level of understanding of the disease agents.