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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2018, Article ID 1249140, 9 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/1249140
Research Article

The Impact of Drought and Vascular-Inhabiting Pathogen Invasion in Pinus taeda Health

1Forest Health Dynamics Laboratory, 602 Duncan Drive, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5418, USA
2Southern Forest Nursery Management Cooperative, Forest Health Dynamics Laboratory, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5418, USA
3Forest Health Cooperative, Forest Health Dynamics Laboratory, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5418, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Pratima Devkota; ude.usm@patokved

Received 11 December 2017; Revised 4 May 2018; Accepted 14 June 2018; Published 3 July 2018

Academic Editor: Kihachiro Kikuzawa

Copyright © 2018 Pratima Devkota et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The complex interaction of various biotic and abiotic factors may put the overall stand health of Pinus spp. at risk. A study was designed to determine the combined impact of drought and vascular-inhabiting fungi (Leptographium terebrantis and Grosmannia huntii) in Pinus taeda. Seedlings from two P. taeda families were planted and watering treatments, (i) normal watering, (ii) moderate drought, and (iii) severe drought, were applied. One month following the initiation of watering treatments, seedling stems were artificially inoculated with L. terebrantis and G. huntii. Drought and fungal interaction significantly affected lesion length/seedling height, occlusion length/seedling height, and seedling fine root biomass. Leptographium terebrantis was more pathogenic under moderate and severe drought than normal watering condition, whereas the pathogenicity of G. huntii remains unaltered. The susceptibility of the families to vascular-inhabiting fungi remained the same under different watering treatments. Drought and specific vascular-inhabiting fungi may negatively impact P. taeda stand health.