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Ferreira M.A.,Federal University of Vicosa | Ferreira M.A.,Federal University of Lavras | Harrington T.C.,Iowa State University | Mafia R.G.,Fibria Celulose Technology Center | And 2 more authors.
Forest Pathology

Ceratocystis wilt, caused by Ceratocystis fimbriata, has become the most important disease in eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp. and hybrids) plantations in Brazil. To further our understanding of the epidemiology of this disease, we surveyed eucalyptus plantations in the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia that were known to have Ceratocystis wilt or were thought to have been planted with infected rooted cuttings. There was generally higher disease incidence in the Minas Gerais plantations, which were on former Cerrado forest sites and likely had soilborne inoculum prior to planting eucalyptus. In such plantations, disease incidence was not evident before 20 months after planting but slowly increased up to 50% at 74 months. The symptomatic and killed trees were aggregated, perhaps from uneven distribution of inoculum in the soil. Also, the progression of cumulative disease incidence best fit a monomolecular model, which is typical of soilborne diseases (fixed level of initial inoculum with little or no secondary inoculum during the crop rotation). However, plots where some trees had been harvested during the rotation showed very high levels of disease incidence in the sprouts that arose from stumps, suggesting secondary spread of the pathogen on harvesting tools or machinery. Most of the Bahia plantations were on pastureland prior to eucalyptus cultivation, and the pathogen was likely introduced with infected nursery stock. In such plots, symptoms were evident as soon as 7 months after planting, and most of the mortality occurred within 12 months. The diseased trees on former pastureland sites were sometimes aggregated within planting rows, suggesting that bunches of infected nursery stock were planted together within the rows. Care should be taken in planting disease-free planting material and spreading the pathogen on tools, but on sites with soilborne inoculum, use of resistant clones may be the only management option. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Source

Mafia R.G.,Fibria Celulose Technology Center | Santos P.C.,Fibria Celulose Technology Center | Demuner B.J.,Fibria Celulose Technology Center | Massoquete A.,Fibria Celulose Technology Center | Sartorio R.C.,Fibria Celulose Technology Center
Forest Pathology

We evaluated the effect of wood decay, caused by fungi Hypoxylon spp., on pulp productivity and quality. Wood samples with different proportions of contamination (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100%) were used to produce Kraft pulp under the same pulping conditions. In the second step, cookings were performed to achieve the same Kappa number (Kn=17±1), varying only the alkali charge. Wood and pulp were also analysed by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The risk of occurrence of wood decay reached its maximum between September and October, under inappropriate storage conditions and juvenile wood without bark. It was observed that the increase in the decayed content (DC) of wood chips affected the Kappa number (Kn), according to the model Kn=1/(0.0595-0.00324*DC 0.34102). An increase of 38.7% of alkali charge was necessary to reach the same Kappa number with decayed wood. The yield for the contaminated wood was lower (48%) when compared to non-contaminated wood (53%). Once contaminated, the wood chips demand more severe cooking conditions because of the difficulty of impregnation. This condition affected the pulp quality, reducing its viscosity by 30% and hemicelluloses content by 5%. In addition, losses of resistance were also observed in the final pulp, where the zero span and tensile indexes were reduced by 5 and 16%, respectively. The SEM observations showed that the ascostroma fungi tissue was not totally degraded during the Kraft process, resulting in the deposition of pitch on fibres. Considering the results achieved, it was possible to conclude that the eucalyptus wood decay, caused by the fungi Hypoxylon spp., significantly affects the pulp process and quality. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Source

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