Current issue: 53(1)
Under compilation: 53(2)
Two experiments were conducted in Punkaharju and Leivonmäki in the Central Finland in 1966-67 where the spread of the snow blight caused by Phacidium infestans Karst. was investigated in rows of excised branches from a ten-year-old stand of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Ericaceous plants (Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull and Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) infected with snow moulds were used to determine their influence on the spread of snow blight.
The results show that significant inhibition of snow blight in Scots pine can be achieved with foliage of ericaceous evergreens. The mechanism of this inhibition is an object of conjecture. In healthy ericaceous vegetation it might be caused by saprophytic fungi living on surface of plants or by some constituent of the foliage. In the case of dead ericaceous foliage, the cause of inhibition seems to be the antagonism of other snow moulds. The antagonism of certain saprophytic organism is well known.
The observed inhibition suggests that ericaceous vegetation may be helpful for reforestation by offering a natural control of snow blight, when seedlings of Scots pine do not stand above the surrounding vegetation.
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