Article CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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The increasing threat to European forests from the invasive foliar pine pathogen, Lecanosticta acicola

Affiliation
Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LH, United Kingdom
Tubby, K.;
ORCID
0000-0001-5407-5233
Affiliation
Department of Plant Pathology and Mycology, Institute of Forest Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovak Republic
Adamčikova, K.;
ORCID
0000-0002-8810-8838
Affiliation
Institute of Forestry and Engineering, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia
Adamson, K.;
Affiliation
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan
Akiba, M.;
Affiliation
University of Pretoria, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), South Africa
Barnes, I.;
Affiliation
University of Agriculture in Kraków, Department Forest Ecosystems Protection, Poland
Boroń, P.;
ORCID
0000-0002-7957-5493
Affiliation
Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária I. P. and GREEN-IT Bioresources for Sustainability, ITQB NOVA, Portugal
Bragança, H.;
ORCID
0000-0002-4874-6851
Affiliation
Department of Plant Protection, Federal Research Centre the Subtropical Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Bulgakov, T.;
Affiliation
Bavarian State Institute of Forestry, Germany
Burgdorf, N.;
Affiliation
University of Florence, DAGRI Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Forest Sciences and Technologies, Italy
Capretti, P.;
Affiliation
Austrian Research Centre for Forests BFW, Austria
Cech, T.;
Affiliation
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Sweden
Cleary, M.;
ORCID
0000-0001-6077-8533
Affiliation
Ukrainian Research Institute of Forestry & Forest Melioration, Ukraine ; Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Sweden
Davydenko, K.;
Affiliation
Institute of Forestry and Engineering, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia
Drenkhan, R.;
ORCID
0000-0001-6749-3346
Affiliation
Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Centro de Investigación Forestal (INIA-CIFOR), Spain
Elvira-Recuenco, M.;
GND
1093413204
Affiliation
Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI), Institute for Plant Protection in Horticulture and Urban Green, Germany
Enderle, Rasmus;
Affiliation
Scion, Private Bag 3020, Rotorua 3046, New Zealand
Gardner, J.;
ORCID
0000-0003-3165-1992
Affiliation
Forest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria
Georgieva, M.;
ORCID
0000-0002-3180-4226
Affiliation
University of Florence, DAGRI Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Forest Sciences and Technologies, Italy
Ghelardini, L.;
ORCID
0000-0002-9148-9926
Affiliation
Département de la santé des forêts, DGAL, SDQSPV, Ministère de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation, France
Husson, C.;
ORCID
0000-0002-6390-5873
Affiliation
Neiker BRTA, Instituto Vasco de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario, Spain
Iturritxa, E.;
ORCID
0000-0003-3111-6949
Affiliation
Institute of Botany, Nature Research Centre, Lithuania
Markovskaja, S.;
ORCID
0000-0002-1578-9193
Affiliation
Neiker BRTA, Instituto Vasco de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario, Spain
Mesanza, N.;
Affiliation
Slovenian Forestry Institute, Večna pot 2, Slovenia
Ogris, N.;
ORCID
0000-0002-8918-5595
Affiliation
Faculty of Forestry, Çankırı Karatekin University, Turkey
Oskay, F.;
ORCID
0000-0002-9914-4930
Affiliation
Slovenian Forestry Institute, Večna pot 2, Slovenia
Piškur, B.;
ORCID
0000-0002-1888-4882
Affiliation
Centre of Forest Research, National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA), C. Coruna, Spain
Queloz, V.;
ORCID
0000-0001-9753-9712
Affiliation
Institute of Botany, Nature Research Centre, Lithuania
Raitelaitytė, K.;
Affiliation
Forest Science Institute (ICIFOR), Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agraria (INIA, CSIC), Spain
Raposo, R.;
Affiliation
Laboratory and Research Division, Plant Analytics Unit, Finnish Food Authority, Finland
Soukainen, M.;
Affiliation
Bavarian State Institute of Forestry, Germany
Strasser, L.;
ORCID
0000-0003-3404-3095
Affiliation
Department of Forest Management and Applied Geoinformatics, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic
Vahalík, P.;
ORCID
0000-0003-3596-4873
Affiliation
Institute of Forestry and Engineering, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia
Vester, M.;
ORCID
0000-0002-6013-0347
Affiliation
Phytophthora Research Centre, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Department of Forest Protection and Wildlife Management, Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic
Mullett, M.

European forests are threatened by increasing numbers of invasive pests and pathogens. Over the past century, Lecanosticta acicola, a foliar pathogen predominantly of Pinus spp., has expanded its range globally, and is increasing in impact. Lecanosticta acicola causes brown spot needle blight, resulting in premature defoliation, reduced growth, and mortality in some hosts. Originating from southern regions of North American, it devastated forests in the USA’s southern states in the early twentieth century, and in 1942 was discovered in Spain.

Derived from Euphresco project ‘Brownspotrisk,’ this study aimed to establish the current distribution of Lecanosticta species, and assess the risks of L. acicola to European forests. Pathogen reports from the literature, and new/ unpublished survey data were combined into an open-access geo-database (http://www.portalofforestpathology.com), and used to visualise the pathogen’s range, infer its climatic tolerance, and update its host range. Lecanosticta species have now been recorded in 44 countries, mostly in the northern hemisphere. The type species, L. acicola, has increased its range in recent years, and is present in 24 out of the 26 European countries where data were available. Other species of Lecanosticta are largely restricted to Mexico and Central America, and recently Colombia.

The geo-database records demonstrate that L. acicola tolerates a wide range of climates across the northern hemisphere, and indicate its potential to colonise Pinus spp. forests across large swathes of the Europe. Preliminary analyses suggest L. acicola could affect 62% of global Pinus species area by the end of this century, under climate change predictions.

Although its host range appears slightly narrower than the similar Dothistroma species, Lecanosticta species were recorded on 70 host taxa, mostly Pinus spp., but including, Cedrus and Picea spp. Twenty-three, including species of critical ecological, environmental and economic significance in Europe, are highly susceptible to L. acicola, suffering heavy defoliation and sometimes mortality. Variation in apparent susceptibility between reports could reflect variation between regions in the hosts’ genetic make-up, but could also reflect the significant variation in L. acicola populations and lineages found across Europe. This study served to highlight significant gaps in our understanding of the pathogen’s behaviour.

Lecanosticta acicola has recently been downgraded from an A1 quarantine pest to a regulated non quarantine pathogen, and is now widely distributed across Europe. With a need to consider disease management, this study also explored global BSNB strategies, and used Case Studies to summarise the tactics employed to date in Europe.

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