Research article The Importance of Climatic Factors in Forest Mycology
J. W Gilmour
Tree-disease problems cannot be fully understood without a thorough appreciation of the part played by environmental factors, particularly climate, as precursors to fungal attack. The manifestation of many diseases often merely indicates unfavourable site factors, the presence of the pathogenic fungus being the result of an unhealthy condition rather than the primary cause of the tree's debility. In New Zealand some of the most important diseases of trees are due primarily to adverse climatic conditions. Injuries caused by frost, hail, drought, and saturated soil conditions are dealt with in this paper as predisposing causes of attack by various fungi, while warm humid atmospheric conditions are shown to be necessary for the development of several of the fungi causing leaf-cast or stem-canker diseases. The minimising of injuries due to such climatic conditions by means of improved silvicultural and management practices or by better site selection guided by a fuller understanding of a species' climatic tolerances is one of the major methods of disease control available to the forester.
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