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Open AccessArticle

Low Water Availability Increases Necrosis in Picea abies after Artificial Inoculation with Fungal Root Rot Pathogens Heterobasidion parviporum and Heterobasidion annosum

1
Forest Pathology Research Group, Büsgen-Institute, Department of Forest Botany and Tree Physiology, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, University of Göttingen, Büsgenweg 2, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2
Northwest German Forest Research Institute, Grätzelstraße 2, 37079 Göttingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010055
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses to Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Forest Trees)
Research Highlights: Dedicated experiments to investigate how disturbances will affect Heterobasidion sp.—Norway spruce pathosystems are important, in order to develop different strategies to limit the spread of Heterobasidion annosum s.l. under the predicted climate change. Here, we report on a greenhouse experiment to evaluate the effects of water availability on the infection severity of Heterobasidion parviporum or Heterobasidion annosum, respectively, on Picea abies saplings. Background and Objectives: Changes in climatic conditions and intense logging will continue to promote H. annosum s.l. in conifer forests, increasing annual economic losses. Thus, our aim was to test if disease severity in Norway spruce was greater after infection with H. parviporum or H. annosum in low water availability conditions, compared to seedlings with high water availability. Materials and Methods: We performed inoculation studies of three-year-old saplings in a greenhouse. Saplings were treated as high (+) or low (−) water groups: High water group received double the water amount than the low water group. The necrosis observed after pathogen inoculation was measured and analyzed. Results: The seedling growth was negatively influenced in the lower water group. In addition, the water availability enhanced the necrosis length of H. parviporum in phloem and sapwood (vertical length) in the low water group. H. annosum benefited only in horizontal length in the phloem. Conclusions: Disturbances related to water availability, especially low water conditions, can have negative effects on the tree host and benefit the infection ability of the pathogens in the host. View Full-Text
Keywords: Heterobasidion parviporum; Heterobasidion annosum; Norway spruce; disturbance; water availability; pathogen; infection Heterobasidion parviporum; Heterobasidion annosum; Norway spruce; disturbance; water availability; pathogen; infection
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Terhonen, E.; Langer, G.J.; Bußkamp, J.; Rӑscuţoi, D.R.; Blumenstein, K. Low Water Availability Increases Necrosis in Picea abies after Artificial Inoculation with Fungal Root Rot Pathogens Heterobasidion parviporum and Heterobasidion annosum. Forests 2019, 10, 55.

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