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Spatial and Temporal Increase of Eastern Filbert Blight in European Hazelnut Orchards in the Pacific Northwest

December 2001 , Volume 91 , Number  12
Pages  1,214 - 1,223

J. N. Pinkerton , K. B. Johnson , D. E. Aylor , and J. K. Stone

First author: U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, 3340 NW Orchard Ave., Corvallis, OR 97330; second and fourth authors: Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97330; and third author: Department of Plant Pathology and Ecology, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, P.O. Box 1106, New Haven 06504

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Accepted for publication 23 August 2001.

Since its first detection in southwest Washington state 30 years ago, eastern filbert blight, caused by Anisogramma anomala, has spread slowly southward (≈2 km/year) into the Willamette Valley of Oregon, an important hazelnut production region. Experiments were conducted to measure gradients of disease spread, rates of disease increase as affected by distance from an inoculum source and variation in host plant resistance, and dispersal of ascospores of A. anomala from diseased orchards. In each of 3 years, 1-year-old hazelnut trees placed from 0 to 150 m north of diseased orchards were infected uniformly and slopes of disease gradients were not significantly different from zero. In 1 year when trees also were placed south of an orchard, the disease gradient was significant (P < 0.05), with disease incidence high at the edge of the orchard and few trees infected at 10 m south of the orchard. Disease gradients were shallower and the magnitude of the area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) greater in 0.1-ha mini-orchards of highly susceptible cv. Ennis than in mini-orchards of moderately susceptible cvs. Barcelona or Casina. Lower AUDPC values were observed in mini-orchards of Barcelona interplanted with a moderately resistant pollenizer Hall's Giant compared with the highly susceptible pollenizer Daviana. Fungicides applied biweekly starting at bud break reduced AUDPC values in Ennis mini-orchards to values observed in Barcelona and Casina mini-orchards. Data from aspirated spore samplers placed on towers adjacent to severely diseased hazelnut orchards indicated that spores of A. anomala dispersed horizontally and vertically away from the canopy during periods of extended branch wetness and, thus, show potential to be transported long distances in wind currents. Weather patterns in the Pacific Northwest may account for the relatively slow, southward spread of eastern filbert blight within Oregon's Willamette Valley. Of 196 precipitation events greater than 10 h in duration recorded from 1974 to 1995, conditions most favorable for ascospores discharge, periods with wind from the north were rare, representing <6% of total hours.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2001