LABORATORIES > Forest protection
Forest Pathology Laboratory
The research in the laboratory of Forest Pathology is mainly focused on the prevention and control of tree and shrub diseases. The laboratory also provides technical support to forest offices, community groups and the general public, on diagnosis and management of tree diseases.
The Forest Pathology laboratory has a long history of research on the pathology of forest trees. In the last two decades many new pathogens have been recorded in Greece and Cyprus, which infect forest and cultivated tree and shrub species.
More specific research areas include:
In recent years, research has been focused on the canker stain disease of plane trees, caused by the fungus Ceratocystis platani. This is a disease that threatens oriental plane (Platanus orientalis), which is an important tree species of the Greek flora. Research is mainly oriented in the investigation of pathways of pathogen spread in natural ecosystems of oriental plane and the application of effective control methods.
Extensive studies in the 1980ís and 1990ís led to the selection of resistant clones of cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) to the canker pathogen Seiridium cardinale. Plantations with resistant clones have been established in certain areas of southern Greece.
Research has also been conducted on root rot pathogens of trees. It has been investigated the ecology, distribution and pathogenic behaviour of Armillaria spp. and Heterobasidion spp. in coniferous and deciduous forests of Greece. Norway spruce resistance to Heterobasidion spp. has also been studied.
Extensive tree mortality in natural fir forests of central and southern of Greece has been investigated in recent years. This includes the study of biotic and abiotic factors that affect fir-tree mortality, especially during periods of drought.
The laboratory of Forest Pathology is responsible, on a national level, for the surveys on quarantine organisms Ceratocystis platani and Phytophthora ramorum; both pathogens have been detected for first time in Greece in this laboratory.