The distribution and severity of beech bark disease in the Catskill Mountains, N.Y.

Jacob M. Griffin, Gary M. Lovett, Mary A. Arthur, Kathleen C. Weathers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

The distribution and severity of beech bark disease (BBD) in the Catskill Mountains of southeastern New York state, U.S.A., were measured between 1997 and 2000. Forest composition was measured using wedge prism surveys and fixed-area plot counts of canopy species. BBD severity on individual trees was ranked from 1 (no disease) to 5 (dead) based on bark health and canopy loss. These data were analyzed at multiple spatial scales to determine possible controls of disease distribution and severity. BBD was present on almost all Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. (American beech) individuals encountered >10 cm diameter at breast height, but was most severe in larger diameter classes. Mortality due to BBD also increased with diameter class. A strong positive relationship was found between BBD severity and relative beech basal area at the tract (hundreds of hectares) and 100-m elevation band spatial scales, but not found at smaller scales. Successful long-range dispersal of the disease may therefore be dependent upon host density, while local conditions may coniol BBD severity within individual stands. The current status of BBD in the Catskills suggests these forests are entering the aftermath phase of the disease's progression and that BBD has become an endemic component of these forests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1754-1760
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume33
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Ecology

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