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Dwarf Mistletoe-Host Interactions in Mixed-Conifer Forests in the Sierra Nevada

June 2002 , Volume 92 , Number  6
Pages  597 - 602

Patricia E. Maloney and David M. Rizzo

Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616

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Accepted for publication 30 January 2002.

We determined the spatial pattern of dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium spp.) associated with two different conifer hosts, white fir (Abies concolor) and Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi), in forests around the Lake Tahoe Basin and at the Teakettle Experimental Forest, both located in the Sierra Nevada. We also examined a number of host variables and bark beetle incidence to determine how these factors might be involved in the Arceuthobium—conifer interaction. There was no significant relationship between dwarf mistletoe-infected trees and associated bark beetles. We found the highest incidence of dwarf mistletoe on Jeffrey pine in Lake Tahoe (87%), followed by dwarf mistletoe on white fir in Lake Tahoe (30%), with the lowest incidence on white fir at Teakettle (27%). Dwarf mistletoe incidence on white fir in our Lake Tahoe grid was not correlated to density but the dwarf mistletoe rating (DMR) was positively correlated to host size. At the Teakettle Forest, dwarf mistletoe incidence on white fir was not correlated with host density but the DMR was correlated with host size. Dwarf mistletoe incidence and DMR on Jeffrey pine were correlated with host density. Individuals, of both conifer species, in all diameter size classes were susceptible to dwarf mistletoe, with the lowest infection rate in the seedling-10-cm-diameter class. Arceuthobium on white fir in Lake Tahoe showed spatial dependence to a range of 20 m. However, Arceuthobium on Jeffrey pine in Lake Tahoe and on white fir at Teakettle showed no clear pattern of spatial structuring. The degree of infection and stand history appear to be important in the spatial dynamics of Arceuthobium spp.

Additional keywords: disease dynamics, host-pathogen interactions, spatial distribution.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society