Pine Wilt Disease and the Decline of Pine Forests: A Global Issue
After devastating vast ranges of pine forests in Asian countries, Pine Wilt disease invaded European forests, becoming a worldwide threat. Originating in North America, the pathogen of this forest epidemic is a nematode, a long filamentous organism, only 1mm in length. Nematodes are carried from tree to tree by a long-horned beetle, where they lurk in its trachea and thereby spread the disease. The challenges raised for researchers to develop effective control methods were to discover how such tiny nematodes infect and kill large pine trees within a short period, and how the infection spreads repeatedly each year. Other key issues include how giant pine trees die within a short period of time due to infection by these small nematodes, how various organisms involved in this disease correlate to each other, how host trees differently respond to nematode invasion among pine species, and how environmental factors affect the progression and spread of the disease.
This book is a record of the fantastic and ingenious research by many tenacious researchers who have worked to clarify these issues. Information on a wide range of fields, from molecular biology to microbiology, nematology, entomology, botany, and ecology, has been incorporated into pine wilt research. Therefore, this book will greatly stimulate the curiosity and research motivation of those interested in field biology and the conservation of the natural environment.
Kazuyoshi Futai is an Emeritus Professor of the Laboratory of Terrestrial Microbial Ecology at the Graduate School of Agriculture of Kyoto University, Japan, and previously worked for the International Union of Forest Research Organizations as a deputy of the ‘Pine Wilt Disease Unit’. His work focuses on forest microbial ecology, especially related to Pine Wilt disease, as well as the relationships between microorganisms and higher plants. He is the author of the books Pine Wilt Disease; Pine Wilt Disease - A Worldwide Threat to Forest Ecosystems and Mycorrhizae: Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, as well as around 170 other publications.
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