FOREST PATHOLOGY, vol.48, no.4, 2018 (SCI-Expanded)
Mistletoe infection results in substantial growth losses in mistletoe-infected forests. This study reports and evaluates the results of retrospective analyses of radial growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in relation to the level of infection of pine mistletoe (Viscum album ssp. austriacum). A total of 43 Scots pine trees were destructively sampled from different sites. Of these trees, 14 were uninfected and 29 were infected. Infection classes were determined using six-class dwarf mistletoe rating system (DMRS). All needle and mistletoe biomass were removed completely and weighed for each sampled tree. Subsamples from needles and all mistletoe biomass were taken to the laboratory for oven-dried weight determinations. Five-cm-thick wood discs were cut from the stem at the breast height (1.3m) to determine annual basal area increment for the last 25years. In addition to DMRS, new infection classes were created using mistletoe-to-needle biomass (MB/NB) ratio. The results showed that the radial growth losses could be as much as 41% to 64% at different infection levels. The rate of growth loss in relation to DMRS and MB/NB ratio was similar, but with a larger variability in DMRS values. The results showed that both DMRS rating and MB/NB ratio seem to be important for quantifying growth loss on Scots pine trees infected with mistletoe. The results of this study can also be invaluable in modelling the effects of mistletoe on the growth of Scots pine trees.