Next Article in Journal
Moisture Performance of Façade Elements Made of Thermally Modified Norway Spruce Wood
Previous Article in Journal
Combining Climate Change Mitigation Scenarios with Current Forest Owner Behavior: A Scenario Study from a Region in Southern Sweden
Open AccessArticle

Dendrochronological Analyses and Whole-Tree Dissections Reveal Caliciopsis Canker (Caliciopsis pinea) Damage Associated with the Declining Growth and Climatic Stressors of Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

1
School of Forest Resources, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
2
USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, State and Private Forestry, Forest Health Protection, Missoula, MT 59804, USA
3
USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry, Forest Health Protection, Durham, NH 03824, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(3), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030347
Received: 3 March 2020 / Revised: 17 March 2020 / Accepted: 17 March 2020 / Published: 20 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) is considered a signature species in eastern North America, particularly in New England. In recent years, however, white pine has experienced increased damage due to native pathogens that reduce the species’ growth, productivity, and economic value. One disease of concern is Caliciopsis canker, caused by the fungal pathogen Caliciopsis pinea, which is associated with excessive resin production, cankers, rough bark, bark fissures/cracks, and reduced growth in white pine. Recent studies have documented the extent of Caliciopsis canker in New England and its association with soil and stocking conditions, yet few studies have focused on the biological impacts of the disease. This study used dendrochronology and whole-tree dissections to reconstruct Caliciopsis canker history in three New England white pine sites, quantify its impact on tree growth and vigor, identify pre-disposing factors, and assess potential silvicultural management options. Dendrochronology and whole-tree dissections provided a unique insight into canker damage throughout trees’ development. Canker damage was first reported in New Hampshire in the mid-1990s, yet cankers were present as far back as 1967 and have steadily increased since the mid-1980s. Increased canker damage was significantly associated with decreased live crown ratios and declining tree growth. Trees maintaining a 30% live crown ratio or greater generally experienced the least canker damage. Furthermore, peaks in canker occurrence were consistent across sites, indicating a regional synchronization of infection and damage. Canker damage was closely associated with climatic events such as droughts and a New England hurricane. The results suggest that Caliciopsis canker has been affecting white pine health over the last 40 years, and that the disease has become more prevalent in the past 20–30 years. Yet, our results suggest that if silvicultural prescriptions target low density thinnings that favor trees with higher live crown ratios (>30%) and low Caliciopsis symptom severity ratings, the risk of canker damage can be reduced in white pine stands. View Full-Text
Keywords: Caliciopsis canker; dendrochronology; eastern white pine; tree-pathogen interaction Caliciopsis canker; dendrochronology; eastern white pine; tree-pathogen interaction
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Costanza, K.K.; Livingston, W.H.; Fraver, S.; Munck, I.A. Dendrochronological Analyses and Whole-Tree Dissections Reveal Caliciopsis Canker (Caliciopsis pinea) Damage Associated with the Declining Growth and Climatic Stressors of Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus). Forests 2020, 11, 347.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop