A review of Sphaeropsis sapinea occurrence on Pinus species in Bulgaria
Sphaeropsis sapinea (Fr.) Dyko & Sutton causes shoot blight and canker disease throughout the world on conifers predisposed by stress. The disease is most important to Pinus species that are affected from the seedling stage in nurseries to mature trees in ornamental planting, forest plantations and natural stands. In Bulgaria, the first findings of the disease were noted in 1989 on Pinus nigra plantations in the North-eastern part of the country. Over the past few years, new emergency and severe damages have developed rapidly as a consequence of the prolonged drought periods during the last growing seasons. The high existence of S. sapinea outbreaks contributed considerably to the physiological weakness of pine trees that become more susceptible to attack by aggressive xylophages and other fungal pathogens. Disease occurrence and its pathogenicity are economically important affecting a number of pine trees from all ages. In Bulgaria, S. sapinea has been obtained on six pine species P. nigra, P. strobus, P. radiata, P. ponderosa, P. pinaster and P. halepensis. The aim of this review is to present the available knowledge on distribution, host specificity, biology, ecology, management of the disease, and to discuss its current prevalence and pathogenicity effect on pine species in Bulgaria.
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