Characterization of damage and biotic factors associated with the decline of Eucalyptus wandoo in southwest Western Australia

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    Abstract

    Crown decline of wandoo, Eucalyptus wandoo, in southwest Western Australia has escalated over the last 10 years, so very few unaffected stands remain. To assess the canopy-damage characteristics of trees in decline a destructive, partial-harvest method was used to sample branches in natural mixed-age stands. Necrosis of common cankers was closely associated with type-1 borer damage, characterized by "longitudinal" gallery structure on declining trees only. Cankers were found to be consistently more severe on declining trees, with decay regions affecting a greater proportion of sapwood tissue. Several infestations causing type-1 borer damage that varied in age were found on declining branches, providing evidence of cyclical damage events. Type-2 borer damage characterized by "ring-barking" gallery structure caused extensive damage in canopies, but was not always associated with decline. Interactions between foliage density and canker score showed that 17.8% and 63.1% of the variability in foliage-density ratios was accounted for in declining intermediate-health and unhealthy classes, respectively. The relationship was negligible for the healthy class (9.9%), providing strong evidence that cankers are causing foliage loss in declining canopies. Evidence suggests that an interaction between type-1 borer infestations and decay-causing fungi is responsible for the decline in E. wandoo wandoo canopies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2589-2602
    JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
    Volume35
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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