Prediction and Mapping of the Impact of Winter Temperature on the Development of Phytophthora cinnamomi-Induced Cankers on Red and Pedunculate Oak in France

Marçais, Benoit ; Bergot, Magali ; Pérarnaud, Victorine ; Levy, André ; Desprez-Loustau, Marie-Laure

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Phytophthora cinnamomi is the causal agent of a perennial canker that develops on the lower bole on northern red oak and pedunculate oak. The disease has a limited range in Europe, being reported only in southwest France. This limited distribution is probably linked to the susceptibility of P. cinnamomi to frost. A model was developed in previous work to estimate the impact of temperatures of <0°C on the winter survival of P. cinnamomi in trunk cortical tissues and on the subsequent development of cankers. In this article, we report the use of this model to simulate canker development in 503 locations across France during a 30-year period. The predicted canker extension decreased sharply when the median P. cinnamomi winter survival index decreased from 0.95 to 0.65, with cankers that poorly developed when the median survival index was lower than 0.5 to 0.6. The actual incidence of the disease in 192 stands located across southwest France was compared with that of the model outputs. Both presence of disease in stands and frequency of cankered trees in infected stands, but not canker size on infected trees, were strongly related to the median P. cinnamomi survival index. No disease was present in stands with median survival index lower than 0.65, and the frequency of cankered trees in infected stands remained very low in stands with a median survival index between 0.65 and 0.70. Aspect was an additional factor explaining disease incidence, while the effect of elevation was likely due to its effect on winter temperatures. Maps of winter suitability to P. cinnamomi-induced cankers on oaks in France are presented.
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