Jay Ram Lamichhane,
Alfredo Fabi, and
Department of Science and Technology for Agriculture, Forestry, Nature and Energy (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Viterbo, Italy; Hazelnut Research Center, Viterbo, Italy.
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Accepted for publication 3 October 2013.
Cytospora canker, caused by the fungus Cytospora corylicola, is present in hazelnut production areas worldwide. The disease is widespread throughout the main production areas of Italy. The causal agent is considered to be a secondary invader of damaged tissue that attacks mainly stressed plants. However, little is known of disease severity and stress factors that predispose plants to infection. In particular, the role of pedoclimatic factors was investigated. Direct survey indicated that disease severity varied across several study sites. Geostatistics showed a strong positive correlation between disease severity index and summer heat (r = 0.80 and 0.91 for July and August, respectively) and strong negative correlation between disease severity index and soil organic matter (r = –0.78). A moderate positive correlation between disease severity index and magnesium/potassium ratio (r = 0.58) and moderate negative correlations between disease severity index and total soil nitrogen (r = –0.53), thermal shock (r = –0.46), and rainfall (r = –0.53) were determined. No significant correlation between disease severity index and soil aluminum (r = –0.35), soil pH (r = –0.01), and plant age (r = –0.38) was found.
© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society