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Future proofing British conifer forestry in response to Phytophthora ramorum

Carried out by: Forest Research

Summary Description:

Phytophthora ramorum is the cause of major loss of Japanese larch throughout western Britain and there are now concerns that Sitka spruce may be at increased risk as the epidemic progresses.

This PhD study aims to analyse the extent of the threat to Sitka spruce by exploring what factors might increase its vulnerability to P. ramorum, refine our understanding of the environmental factors that promote or prevent disease development on larch and spruce in relation to inoculum pressure and climate, and draw from this information an assessment of whether European larch could be a viable species choice in future.

Additionally, the project will track the distribution of the relatively recently arrived EU2 lineage of P. ramorum in south west Scotland and explore its potential for change.

The overall objective is to provide data and evidence to update future management recommendations and species choice decision-making against a continuing risk from P. ramorum.

Timescale: 2018-2021

SFT Funds Awarded: £39,500

SFT/FC Joint Bursary Award Scheme:. This project has received funding from the SFT/FC Joint Bursary Award.

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Scottish Forestry Trust is a registered charity (Scottish Charity No. SC008465).