Epidemiology of Phytophthora ramorum in Oregon tanoak forests

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Volume 38, p.1133-1143(11) (Submitted)




We followed the local intensification and dispersal of Phytophthora ramorum Werres, De Cock, & Man In’t Veld in Oregon tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus (Hook & Arn.) Rehd.) forests from its initial detection in 2001 through 2006, coincident with a continuing eradication effort. The initial infested area included nine scattered sites below 400m elevation, close to the Pacific Ocean near Brookings, Oregon. In subsequent years, one-half of new infections were within 122m of a previous infection, and 79% of the newly detected trees occurred within 300m of a previously identified tree. Dispersal up to 4km was occasionally recorded. Initial infection occurred in the upper crowns of tanoak trees. The pathogen was recovered in rainwater collected beneath diseased tanoak trees in every month from November 2006 through October 2007. Twenty-four multilocus microsatellite genotypes were identified among 272 P. ramorum isolates collected from Curry County. Genotypic analysis provided independent estimates of time of origin of the Oregon infestation, its clustered distribution, and dispersal distances. In all sampling years, 60%-71% of the isolates belonged to the same multilocus genotype. In 2001, 12 genotypes were detected and new genotypes were identified in each of the subsequent years, but all isolates belonged to the same clonal lineage. Knowledge of local intensification of the disease and long-distance dispersal should inform both Oregon eradication efforts and national quarantine regulations.