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Research article2006Peer reviewed

Effect of slash removal on Gremmeniella abietina incidence on Pinus sylvestris after clear-cutting in northern Sweden

Bernhold A, Witzell J, Hansson P


The Gremmeniella abietina outbreak in Sweden in 2001 - 2003 forced forest owners to sanitary clear-cut large areas of middle-aged Pinus sylvestris stands. There is, however, little knowledge of effective reforestation of P. sylvestris on G. abietina - infected sites. Gremmeniella abietina disease incidence on P. sylvestris seedlings planted in 2003 was studied with and without ( control) removal of infected P. sylvestris slash. Removed slash was piled in stacks around the regeneration plots. The seedlings were planted within 1 year after sanitation felling on three sites in northern Sweden. One year after planting, G. abietina pycnidia were found on 32% of the control seedlings and total infection, including stem cankers, reached 44%. Total and G. abietina-induced mortality was 15 and 10%, respectively. The method of removing and piling the infected slash reduced, in relation to control, the number of infected seedlings by 50% and seedling mortality by 27% 1 year after planting, compared with control. Consequently, even if there is a clear sanitation effect of removing infected slash to the sides of the regeneration area, it does not eradicate the infection source from the stands. Postponed planting, slash burning or complete removal of the infected slash is needed to minimize the infection risk. The positive correlation found between slash coverage and infection rate indicates that clear-cuts with large amounts of infected slash should be given priority for slash treatment

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2006, Volume: 21, number: 6, pages: 489-495