Damage caused by mistletoe Misodendrum punctulatum Banks Ex Dc. on architecture and radial growth of Nothofagus pumilio (Poepp. et Endl.) Krasser forests of southern Chile
Article first published online: 16 JAN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Austral Ecology © 2012 Ecological Society of Australia
Volume 37, Issue 7, pages 816–824, November 2012
How to Cite
HENRÍQUEZ-VELÁSQUEZ, C., HENRÍQUEZ, J. M. and ARAVENA, J. C. (2012), Damage caused by mistletoe Misodendrum punctulatum Banks Ex Dc. on architecture and radial growth of Nothofagus pumilio (Poepp. et Endl.) Krasser forests of southern Chile. Austral Ecology, 37: 816–824. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2011.02342.x
- Issue published online: 23 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 16 JAN 2012
- Accepted for publication December 2011.
- annual growth rate;
- parasite–host relationship;
- parasite plant;
- southern Chile;
- tree ring
Parasitic plants rely completely or partially on host plant, namely holoparasitic or hemiparasitic, respectively. The effect of parasitism on host plants is not fully known. Misodendrum punctulatum (Misodendraceae) is the most common hemiparasite species in the southernmost forests of Chile and Argentina, and it has been identified as an important sanitary problem in forestry. In this study we evaluated the M. punctulatum effect on growth rates and architecture of pure Nothofagus pumilio (Nothofagaceae) forests in southern South America (52°10′S; 71°55′W). We established three plots of 30 × 30 m, and 10 cores were extracted from diameter at breast height (d.b.h. = 1.3 m) from living trees in each plot, using increment borers. Tree rings were measured, and anova was used to compare the annual growth rate of both infected and uninfected N. pumilio. The results showed that N. pumilio trees severely infected by M. punctulatum reduce growth rates in contrast with uninfected individuals (P < 0.05). Besides, trees with high-infection levels evidenced deterioration in its architecture, showing asymmetric and suppressed canopies, according to ad hoc numerical indexes. This study provides a starting point to understand the parasite–host relationship in the Patagonian forests of southern Chile.