Kennedy Boateng and
Kathy J. Lewis
First author: University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2, Canada; and second author: University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, BC, V2N 4Z9, Canada.
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Accepted for publication 2 July 2014.
We studied spore dispersal by Dothistroma septosporum, causal agent of a serious outbreak of red band needle blight in lodgepole pine plantations in northwest British Columbia. Spore abundance was assessed at different distances and heights from inoculum sources and microclimatic factors were recorded during two consecutive years. Conidia were observed on spore traps from June to September during periods of rainfall. It was rare to detect spores more than 2 m away from inoculum sources. The timing and number of conidia dispersed were strongly tied to the climatic variables, particularly rainfall and leaf wetness. Should the trend toward increased spring and summer precipitation in the study area continue, the results suggest that disease spread and intensification will also increase. Increasing the planting distances between lodgepole pine trees through mixed species plantations and overall reduction in use of lodgepole pine for regeneration in wet areas are the best strategies to reduce the spread of the disease and enhance future productivity of plantations in the study area.
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