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The Relationship of the Sapstreak Fungus, Ceratocystis virescens, to Sugar Maple Dieback and Decay in Northern Michigan

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DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2013.42A056    4,059 Downloads   6,044 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Unusually high levels of dieback have recently been reported in sugar maple, Acer saccharum Marsh., in Upper Michigan, and a network of plots was established to determine the extent and factors associated with the dieback. A possible contributor to this dieback is sapstreak disease caused by Ceratocystis virescens (Davidson) Moreau. Unhealthy trees with considerable crown dieback were evaluated across the western Upper Peninsula, MI to determine the prevalence of the sapstreak fungus using a minimally destructive sampling technique. Approximately 8% of 90 trees sampled were sapstreak positive and approximately 10% of trees were positive at one site that had recently been harvested. While the high levels of maple dieback present in these forests appear not to be directly caused by widespread sapstreak disease, the occurrence of sapstreak may be significantly impacting trees at some locations. However, even when present on a low number of trees, the biointeraction of sapstreak and decay rates from other fungi could be important for future tree mortality and value to the forest industry. Therefore, the effect of two sapstreak fungal isolates on the amount of decay caused by two common maple white rot fungi, Trametes versicolor (L.:Fr.) Pilat. And Irpex lacteus (Fr.:Fr.) Fr. was tested in the laboratory. Sugar maple wood blocks were precolonized by two native isolates of C. virescens followed by inoculation and incubation with decay fungi. Mean percent weight loss of blocks by white rot decay fungi ranged from 39% to 55%, but decay rates were not significantly affected by the presence of the sapstreak fungus.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

T. Bal, D. Richter, A. Storer and M. Jurgensen, "The Relationship of the Sapstreak Fungus, Ceratocystis virescens, to Sugar Maple Dieback and Decay in Northern Michigan," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 2A, 2013, pp. 436-443. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.42A056.

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