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Ma Z.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Zhu J.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Sun Z.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Liang J.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Forestry Research | Year: 2015

Landscape pathology is a research approach that can provide validation of the effectiveness of regional controls of forest disease at a landscape scale. In this paper, we analyzed the effects of stand features, management approaches, and geographical locations on poplar canker disease incidence (DI) and disease severity index (DSI) of individual trees at a 10 km × 10 km mesoscale landscape in Qingfeng County, China. DI varied significantly with stand age, tree densities, and the degree of canopy closure. DI in stands younger than 4 years old was significantly lower than that in the stands over 6 years old and reached the highest value at a stand age of 8–10 years. Overall, DI was positively correlated with stand age, stand density, and the degree of canopy closure. DI was significantly lower in agro-forest stand patches than in other three patch types, i.e. isolated patch, pure stand patch, and mixed stand patch. Poplar plantations distributed around and near to villages exhibited significantly higher DI mainly due to human activities and herbivores. Fragmentation or connectivity in this mesoscale landscape seemed not impact disease occurrence. DSI was not significantly correlated with stand density, but varied significantly with tree varieties and trees ages. DSI was highest in stands of 10–12 year trees for all poplar varieties we studied here. Plantation density and plantation age were thus critical factors in determining DI and DSI. A logistic predictive model of disease occurrence was developed for the study area, considering varieties, age, height, density, canopy cover, stand types, patch types, management status, and stand geographical locations. Our study here shows that adjustment of stand density by thinning at different plantation ages is an effective approach controlling the occurrence canker disease in short-rotation poplar plantations at the landscape scale. © 2015 Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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