The key host for an invasive forest pathogen also facilitates the pathogen's survival of wildfire in California forests
Article first published online: 9 OCT 2012
© 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust
Volume 196, Issue 4, pages 1145–1154, December 2012
How to Cite
Beh, M. M., Metz, M. R., Frangioso, K. M. and Rizzo, D. M. (2012), The key host for an invasive forest pathogen also facilitates the pathogen's survival of wildfire in California forests. New Phytologist, 196: 1145–1154. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04352.x
- Issue published online: 5 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 9 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Received: 18 JUL 2012
- US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station
- USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Ecology of Infectious Diseases. Grant Number: EF-0622770
- Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
- Big Sur;
- interacting disturbances;
- invasive forest pathogen;
- Phytophthora ramorum ;
- sudden oak death (SOD);
- Umbellularia californica ;
- The first wildfires in sudden oak death-impacted forests occurred in 2008 in the Big Sur region of California, creating the rare opportunity to study the interaction between an invasive forest pathogen and a historically recurring disturbance.
- To determine whether and how the sudden oak death pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, survived the wildfires, we completed intensive vegetation-based surveys in forest plots that were known to be infested before the wildfires. We then used 24 plot-based variables as predictors of P. ramorum recovery following the wildfires.
- The likelihood of recovering P. ramorum from burned plots was lower than in unburned plots both 1 and 2 yr following the fires. Post-fire recovery of P. ramorum in burned plots was positively correlated with the number of pre-fire symptomatic California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica), the key sporulating host for this pathogen, and negatively correlated with post-fire bay laurel mortality levels.
- Patchy burn patterns that left green, P. ramorum-infected bay laurel amidst the charred landscape may have allowed these trees to serve as inoculum reservoirs that could lead to the infection of newly sprouting vegetation, further highlighting the importance of bay laurel in the sudden oak death disease cycle.