Could Pine Wood Nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) Cause Pine Wilt Disease or Even Establish inside Healthy Trees in Finland Now—Or Ever?
Tuomola J, Gruffudd H, Ruosteenoja K, Hannunen S. (2021)Could Pine Wood Nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) Cause Pine Wilt Disease or Even Establish inside Healthy Trees in Finland Now—Or Ever? Forests 12(12), 1679. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121679
Pine wilt disease (PWD) caused by the pine wood nematode (PWN, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) can, in suitable conditions, lead to mass mortality of susceptible trees. In the European Union, PWN is a quarantine pest. To support PWN risk management in Finland, we assessed the suitability of the Finnish present and future climate for both PWD and PWN establishment inside susceptible healthy trees. The former was done using the mean summer temperature concept and the latter by relating annual growing degree days to the likelihoods of PWN extinction and establishment inside healthy trees. The likelihoods were derived from the previously published modelling of PWN population dynamics for 139 locations in Germany. Both assessments were conducted using 10 × 10 km resolution climate data from 2000–2019 and Finland-specific climate change projections for 2030–2080. The results indicate that the present Finnish climate is too cool for both PWD and PWN establishment inside healthy trees. Furthermore, even global warming does not appear to turn the Finnish climate suitable for PWD or PWN establishment inside healthy trees by 2080, except under the worst-case representative concentration pathway scenario (RCP8.5). Consequently, giving top priority to PWN when allocating resources for biosecurity activities in Finland might deserve reconsideration.
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