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First report of Hymenoscyphus fraxineus on Fraxinus excelsior in Montenegro

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Summary

During the monitoring of the mycological complex on different forest tree species in the Biogradska Gora National Park in north-east Montenegro, symptoms indicative of ash dieback caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus were observed on young Fraxinus excelsior trees in the protected virgin forest, including dieback of plants and branches, wilting of leaves and shoots leading to a “flag-like” habitus, premature shedding of leaves and longitudinal bark necroses. Using standard isolation methods, slow-growing cultures with numerous phialides, typical of the asexual phase of the ash dieback fungus, were obtained. In addition, petioles with numerous characteristic apothecia were also recorded. This is the first report of H. fraxineus on common ash in Montenegro. Possible pathways of introduction and implications of the findings are discussed.

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