Canadian Forest Service Publications

Contrasting research approaches to managing mistletoes in commercial forests and wooded pastures. 2009. Reid, N.; Shamoun, S.F. Botany 87(1): 1-9.

Year: 2009

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 29189

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/B08-109

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Many mistletoe species are pests in agricultural and forest ecosystems throughout the world. Mistletoes are unusual “weeds” as they are generally endemic to areas where they achieve pest status and, therefore, classical biological control and broad-scale herbicidal control are usually impractical. In North American coniferous forests, dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium spp.) infection results in major commercial losses and poses a public liability in recreation settings. Hyperparasitic fungi have potential as biological control agents of dwarf mistletoe, including species which attack shoots, berries, and the endophytic systems of dwarf mistletoe. Development of an inundative biological control strategy will be useful in situations where traditional silvicultural control is impractical or undesirable. In southern Australia, farm eucalypts are often attacked and killed by mistletoes (Amyema spp.) in grazed landscapes where tree decline and biodiversity loss are major forms of land degradation. Although long-term strategies to achieve a balance between mistletoe and host abundance are promoted, many graziers want short-term options to treat severely infected trees. Recent research has revisited the efficiency and efficacy of silvicultural treatments and selective herbicides in appropriate situations. The results of recent research on these diverse management strategies in North America and Australia are summarized.