Occurrence of Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus on infected ash logs


E-mail: claude.husson@nancy.inra.fr


Ash decline induced by Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus is an emerging disease that severely affects Fraxinus excelsior stands in Europe. There has been an invasive spread of the disease from east to west in Europe over the last decade. Wood discoloration on infected trunks has been reported, but few data are available on the involvement of H. pseudoalbidus in such symptoms. Transport and trade of ash logs could introduce the pathogen into disease-free areas and therefore accelerate its dissemination. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and severity of H. pseudoalbidus in ash logs in infested areas located in the northeast of France and to clarify the role of secondary pathogens in ash decline. The results showed that prevalence of H. pseudoalbidus on collar lesions was high in the study area. The pathogen was able to produce conidia from infected wood. Thus, export of ash logs could represent a potential risk for spreading the disease. Involvement of Armillaria spp. in the decline process was confirmed, while no Phytophthora-induced collar lesions were found. Studying both disease prevalence and the age of callus tissues surrounding collar lesions in 60 ash stands enabled the origin of the disease in the study area to be determined.