The role of root system in silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) dieback in the air-polluted area of Krušné hory Mts

https://doi.org/10.17221/4693-JFSCitation:Mauer O., Palátová E. (2003): The role of root system in silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) dieback in the air-polluted area of Krušné hory Mts. J. For. Sci., 49: 191-199.
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120 root systems and trunks of 20 years old birch trees and 60 root systems and trunks of 15 years old birch trees affected by defoliation and with no visual symptoms of damage were analyzed in the air-polluted area of Krušné hory Mts. In the given area, birch develops a superficial or anchoring root system of circular shape. A greater effect of defoliation was recorded in trees with the superficial root system. The defoliation was in correlation with the extent of bole rot, root system rot and rooting depth. The proportion of root system branches infested by rot increased with increasing defoliation. Dominating fungi on roots were Armillaria gallica and Armillaria ostoyae. The degree of defoliation was directly proportional to the extent of bole rot induced by Trametes confragosa and Armillaria gallica, infecting frost ribs in the trunks. Extensive defoliation was recorded if more than 25% of peripheral tissues of the trunk and over 15% of root system branches were infected by rot. The defoliated trees showed a marked loss of fine roots, impaired longevity of fine roots and a change of ectomycorrhiza into ectendomycorrhiza.
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