Phytophthora on Quercus suber L. (cork oak)
Quercus suber is a typically Mediterranean species, endemic of Southern Europe and Northern Africa where the climate is characterized by summer drought and mildly cold winters (distribution map see http://www.discoverlife.org). It’s an evergreen tree that grows up to 20 m in height, the stem diameter at breast height can reach more than 200 cm, the bark is up to 20 cm thick, porous and furrowed and the leaves are alternate, simple and with the margin entire or with 4-7 pairs of acute teeth. It grows well in various types of soil, with a preference for acidic soils (pH 5-7) and with low tolerance for calcarious and saline soils. Cork oak is an essential component in the agroecosystems of the Iberian Peninsula supporting rich wildlife populations and simultaneously used by farmers to grow cereals, graze animals and harvest cork. Portugal is the main producer and exporter of cork, as well as first in the industrial transformation and commercialization sectors.