Canadian Forest Service Publications
Birch foliar responses to simulated acidic fog and Septoria betulae inoculations. 2001. Kouterick, K.B.; Skelly, J.M.; Pennypacker, S.P.; Cox, R.M. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 31: 392-400.
Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 18154
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The effects of simulated acidic fog and inoculation with Septoria betulae Pass. on foliar symptom development and foliar senescence of Betula papyrifera Marsh. and Betula cordifolia Regel seedlings were investigated in 1997 and 1998 under greenhouse conditions. An interactive role may exist between acidic fog events and S. betulae in causing birch foliar browning, a disease reported over the past decade to occur on mature trees growing adjacent to the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Seedlings received applications of simulated fog adjusted to pH 3.2, 4.2, and 5.6 or a no-fog treatment. Inoculation treatments at each fog pH level were accomplished throught spray atomization with S. betulae conidial suspensions and by placing naturally infected birch leaves bearing pycnidia of the fungus on plastic nets suspended above seedlings in enclosed chambers. Percent symptomatic leaf area of seedlings inoculated with S. betulae was nearly double that recorded for non-inoculated seedlings. Foliar browning resembled symptoms observed on mature trees in the field. Foliar symptoms were observed on non-inoculated seedlings, with greater severities associated with seedlings exposed to the most acidic fog treatment. Pycnidial development was not influenced by the pH of the fog treatments but was greater in all fog treatments than in no-fog treatments. Although both acidic fog and S. betulae infection are able to cause symptoms independently, the data suggest that an interactive role may exist in causing birch foliar browning. However, to obtain the same severity of foliar browning as observed on natural forest-grown trees in the Bay of Fundy region, S. betulae must be present.