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International Union of Forest Research Organisation Working Party (IUFRO) 7. 02. 02, foliage, shoot and stem diseases of forest trees meeting at Eğirdir, Isparta, Turkey, May 11-15, 2009.
In May 2009, I received a BSPP conference grant which enabled me to travel to Turkey to attend the IUFRO working party meeting on foliage, shoot and stem diseases of forest trees. This meeting was hosted by researchers at the Süleyman Demirel University in Isparta and attended by approximately 40 scientists working on various tree diseases, with representation from thirteen different countries. Eğirdir is located on a plateau north of Antalya, famous for the production of rose oil and various tree fruit crops, and the meeting had a particularly spectacular setting with the hotel located on the shores of Lake Eğirdir, encircled by snow capped mountain peaks. During the conference, I especially enjoyed some refreshing early morning swims in this lake, accompanied by cold waterseasoned delegates from Finland and some hardy Mediterranean representatives (France and Italy)!.
The first two sessions of the meeting focused on foliage diseases of conifers, including Diplodia pinea, which tends to interact with drought stress in trees, the possibility of a new biotype of Gremmeniella abietina in Spain, and the recent discovery of Dothistroma septosporum causing red band needle blight of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) at numerous locations in Finland.
Dothistroma septosporum is a recently occurring disease in northern Europe which is now present across Great Britain, and the Finnish study highlights the potentially serious risk to stands of Scots pine in Scotland due to this disease. The session on dieback and canker diseases was also of special interest from a British perspective with presentations focusing on newly emerging diseases and pathogens of quarantine significance, including Fusarium circinatum causing pitch pine canker in Spain, Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi causing bleeding canker of horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) in Britain (the focus of my presentation) and dieback of ash (Fraxinus spp.) caused by the anamorphic fungal pathogen, Chalara fraxinea. The phenomenon of ash dieback apparently began in Poland in the early 1990’s and has now been recorded in several central and northern European countries. Currently, C. fraxinea has not been found causing dieback of ash in Britain, however, very recently, C. fraxinea has been linked to a teleomorph state Hymenoscyphus albidus, which is common on fallen leaves of ash. With increasing interest in ash as an economically important hardwood species in Britain due to its potential suitability under conditions brought about by climate change, we need to be vigilant for symptoms of C. fraxinea infection!.
There were also two days of field trips which took us up into the mountains to look at various diseases in stands consisting mainly of Pinus nigra, Juniperus excelsa and Cedrus libani.
The field trips were not without adventure with 30 tree pathologists at one point having to evacuate the bus through its emergency hatch in the roof, creating much excitement and a sense of camaraderie among the delegates!. Overall, I found this to be a particularly enjoyable conference, thanks largely to the wonderful hospitality from the Turkish scientists and students, and also to the perfect weather, setting and the high level of enthus iasm expres sed by the attendees. I wish to thank the BSPP for part-funding my attendance at this meeting.
Sarah Green, Forest Research, Roslin The 2009 IUFRO meeting on Foliage, Shoot and Stem Diseases of Forest Trees was held in the beautiful setting of the Egirdir lake in the Isparta province of Turkey, which is also known as the Turkish Lake District, for one week between the 11th and the 16th of May. The Turkish peninsula is where the West meets the East offering this part of the world richness in terms of its culture and landscapes. The Suleyman Demirel University who hosted this meeting was founded in 1992 and is one of the biggest in Turkey, offering courses of a vast range from academic subjects of art and science to technical apprenticeship. It has a Faculty of Forestry which includes a group of forest pathologist who organised this meeting. The Mavigol hotel where the conference took place is itself part of the University allowing training of student who learn how to run a hotel.
The meeting was organised by Tugba Dogmus-Lehtijarvi and attended by 43 participants from Europe, North America and New-Zealand. We first visited the city of Isparta where most of the Suleyman Demirel University faculties are. After registration and a welcoming speech by Antti Uotila (coordinator of IUFRO shoots, stem and foliage diseases), Gaston Laflamme (coordinator of IUFRO forest pathology) and the university rector Prof. Lütfü Baydar we turned back to Egirdir and started with the presentation of papers on foliage diseases of conifers followed by dieback and canker diseases, and rust diseases until Wednesday which was the day of our first field trip to the forest to look at diseases. On Thursday more talks were presented on foliage diseases of hardwoods, nursery diseases and other diseases with a poster session in the afternoon. Friday was the day of the second field trip.
About 20 diseases from pines, cedar, juniper, ash, maple and horse chestnut were covered which is an improvement from earlier meetings which focused on only one disease per meeting. The most covered diseases were those caused by Diplodia pinea and Gremmeniella abietina. D. pinea causes blight, branch dieback and stem canker of some pine species like P. brutia. Tugba Dogmus- Lehtijarvi (Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey) presented the risk of this disease for native Turkish trees and found that this fungus is very virulent in P. nigra and Cedrus libani which are two important trees for Turkey. D. pinea is also a problem in Spain, and Oscar Santamaria (Universidad de Extremadura, Spain) presented a paper about the potential use of two endophytic species of Red and Jack pine as biological control agents for this disease and also how two pathogens compete against each other and reduce their virulence.
I would like to thank BSPP for contributing toward the cost of this meeting as I feel it has enriched my knowledge of disease risks in the forests of today and has allowed me to meet in person other forest pathologists who I heard of only by reading some of their scientific articles. It also gave me the opportunity to present my own results which demonstrated once again that there are more Lophodermium endophytic species living in the needles of Pinus sylvestris in Scotland than previously thought. I was able to learn that this might be the case in other part of Europe while discussing my results with other forest pathologists who suspected this when they had worked on this system before.
Sabrina Reignoux, The University of Edinburgh and Forest Research