Annals of Forest Science

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 169–181 | Cite as

Modelling the potential spread of Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of pitch canker in Europe

  • Timo Möykkynen
  • Paolo Capretti
  • Timo Pukkala
Original Paper



Fusarium circinatum is an invasive forest pathogen causing pitch canker in Europe. It attacks several pine species and Douglas firs. It has already invaded a few places in the Iberian Peninsula and Italy.


The aim of this study is to develop a model for simulating the spread of F. circinatum once it enters Europe via various entry points such as harbours, border stations and from nurseries containing tree seedlings.


The spread rate was modelled as a function of the spatial distribution of pine and Douglas firs, climatic suitability of different locations to F. circinatum, seedling transportation, insect-mediated transfer from tree to tree, and spread of airborne spores.


The fungus is likely to spread to the pine forests of northern Spain (Galicia, Cantabria and Basque Country) and southwest France (Aquitania). There will be some spread towards northern Portugal and southern Italy. Unless there are new arrivals to Central and North Europe, the fungus will not spread to the more northern parts of Europe. Due to the short dispersal distance of spores, F. circinatum cannot easily cross spatial discontinuities in the distribution of host species.


F. circinatum is a serious potential invasive forest pathogen in Europe. New admittances of the spores from international trading should be controlled.


Invasive pathogen Pine Douglas fir Spatio-temporal model Spread model Forest pathology 



This study was performed with funding from the EU-funded project ISEFOR (Increasing Sustainability of European Forests: modelling for security against invasive pests and pathogens under climate change).


  1. Botterweg PF (2009) Dispersal and flight behavior of the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus in relation to sex, size and fat content. J Appl Entomol 94:466–480Google Scholar
  2. Byers JA (2000) Wind-aided dispersal of simulated bark beetles flying through forests. Ecol Model 125:231–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carlucci A, Colatruglio L, Frisullo S (2007) First report of pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum on Pinus halepensis and P. pinea in Apulia (Southern Italy). Plant Dis 91:1683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Christensen OB, Goodess CM, Harris I, Watkiss P (2011) European and global climate change projections: discussion of climate change model outputs, scenarios and uncertainty in the EC RTD Climate Cost project. In: Watkiss P (ed) The climate cost project, Final report. Volume 1: Europe. Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden, ISBN 978-91-86125-35-6Google Scholar
  5. Costa A, Min A, Boone CK, Kendrick AP, Murphy RJ, Sharpee WC, Raffa KF, Reeve JD (2013) Dispersal and edge behavior of bark beetles and predators inhabiting red pine plantations. Agric For Entomol 15:1–11. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-9563.2012.00585.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Desprez-Loustau M-L, Robin C, Reynaud R, Deque M, Badeau V, Piou D, Husson C, Marcais B (2007) Simulating the effects of a climate-change scenario on the geographical range and activity of forest-pathogenic fungi. Can J Plant Pathol 29:101–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. EFSA Panel on Plant Health (PLH) (2010) Risk assessment of Gibberella circinata for the EU territory and identification and evaluation of risk management options. EFSA J 8:1620, 93 ppGoogle Scholar
  8. EPPO (2005) Data sheets on quarantine pests. Gibberella circinata. EPPO Bull 35:383–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ganley RJ, Watt MS, Manning L, Iturritxa E (2009) A global climatic risk assessment of pitch canker disease. Can J For Res 39:2246–2256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Garbelotto M, Smith T, Schweigkofler W (2008) Variation in rates of spore deposition of Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of Pine Pitch Canker, over a 12-month period at two locations in northern California. Phytopathology 98:137–143CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. IPCC (2007) Summary for policymakers. In: Solomon SD, Qin M, Manning Z, Chen M, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  12. Nilssen AC (1984) Long-range aerial dispersal of bark beetles and bark weevils (Coleoptera, Scolytidae and Curculionidae) in northern Finland. Ann Entomol Fenn 50:37–42Google Scholar
  13. Pukkala T, Möykkynen T, Robinet C (2014) Comparison of the potential spread of pinewood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) in Finland and Iberia simulated with a cellular automaton model. For Pathol. doi: 10.1111/efp.12105 Google Scholar
  14. Robertson C, Nelson TA, Jelinski DE, Wulder MA, Boots B (2009) Spatial-temporal analysis of species range expansion: the case of the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae. J Biogeogr 36:1446–1458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Safranyik L, Carroll A (2006) The biology and epidemiology of the mountain pine beetle in lodgepole pine forests. In: Safranyik L, Wilson B (eds) The mountain pine beetle, a synthesis of biology, management and impacts on lodgepole pine. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Service, Victoria, pp 3–66Google Scholar
  16. Sutherst RW, Maywald GF, Kriticos DJ (2007) CLIMEX version 3: user’s guide. Hearne Scientific software Pty Ltd., Melbourne, Google Scholar
  17. Timmermann V, Børja I, Hietala AM, Kirisits T, Solheim H (2011) Ash dieback: pathogen spread and diurnal patterns of ascospore dispersal with special emphasis on Norway. EPPO Bull 41:14–20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2338.2010.02429.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Tröltzsch K, Van Brusselen J, Schuck A (2009) Spatial occurrence of major tree species groups in Europe derived from multiple data sources. For Ecol Manag 257:294–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Watt MS, Ganley RJ, Kriticos DJ, Manning LJ (2011) Dothistroma needle blight and pitch canker: the current and future potential distribution of two important diseases of Pinus species. Can J For Res 41:412–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Wermelinger B (2004) Ecology and management of the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus—a review of recent research. For Ecol Manag 202:67–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wikler K, Storer AJ, Newman W, Gordon TR, Wood DL (2003) The dynamics of an introduced pathogen in a native Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) forest. For Ecol Manag 179:209–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wingfield MJ, Hammerbacher A, Ganley RJ, Steenkamp ET, Gordon TR, Wingfield BD, Coutinho TA (2008) Pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum—a growing threat to pine plantations and forests worldwide. Australas Plant Pathol 37:319–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Withrow JR, Lundquist JE, Negron JF (2013) Spatial dispersal of Douglas-fir beetle populations in Colorado and Wyoming. ISRN For. doi: 10.1155/2013/542380 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  2. 2.DISPAA Section of Plant Pathology and EntomologyUniversity of FirenzeFlorenceItaly

Personalised recommendations