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Seasonal Patterns of Spore Deposition of Heterobasidion Species in Four Forests of the Western Alps

July 2005 , Volume 95 , Number  7
Pages  759 - 767

Paolo Gonthier , Matteo M. Garbelotto , and Giovanni Nicolotti

First and third authors: Department of Exploitation and Protection of the Agricultural and Forestry Resources-Plant Pathology, University of Torino, Via L. da Vinci 44, I-10095 Grugliasco, Italy; and second author: Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management-Ecosystem Sciences Division, University of California at Berkeley, 151 Hilgard Hall, Berkeley 94720

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Accepted for publication 15 February 2005.

Patterns of spore deposition by Heterobasidion species were studied between the spring of 1998 and December 2000 in four forests in the western Alps using woody traps. The maximum spore deposition rate (DR) ranged from 169 to 1,550 spores m-2 h-1. Although spores were captured from February to October at most sites, inoculum concentration consistently peaked in the late summer or early fall. In one of the four study sites, similar patterns of DR were recorded in 2 years of sampling. A significant correlation (r = 0.654, P = 0.001) was found between DR and the average minimum air temperature in the 4 weeks before sampling. Approximately 1,200 spores were isolated and identified at the species level by polymerase chain reaction-based methods. Single-spore isolates were consistently clampless, indicating the sampled airspora was almost exclusively composed of haploid basidiospores. No significant variations of basidiospore frequencies were detected for either H. abietinum or H. annosum among sampling periods. However, the frequency of H. parviporum spores was always significantly higher in the summer. These findings suggest different patterns of sporulation among Heterobasidion species.

Additional keywords: aerobiology , Spiniger meineckellus , spore dissemination .

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society