Core Research

Core Research Areas

  • Disease distribution & severity: Aerial survey & permanent monitoring plots
  • Biology, ecology & epidemiology of Phaeocryptopus gaeumannii
  • Effect of silvicultural treatments on disease
  • Tree Improvement (in collaboration with other coops & agencies)
  • Models to predict growth impacts & geographic distribution of disease severity
  • Integrated Pest Management of Swiss needle cast

Current Project Summaries (2014)

*for detailed reports on these and other ongoing projects, please see the SNCC Annual Report 2013 (pdf)

Aerial Survey

  • Conducted in cooperation with Alan Kanskie, Mike McWilliams, Rob Flowers and others at the Oregon Department of Forestry.
  • Represents a key component of our disease monitoring program, which is considered crucial to our Integrated Pest Management Strategy for Swiss needle cast (SNC).
  • Objectives:
    1. To track the distribution and severity of SNC in the Oregon Coast Range annually to determine whether:
      • the area impacted by the SNC epidemic is expanding, retracting or remaining constant over time.
      • disease severity is increasing, decreasing or remaining constant within the epidemic area over time.
    2. To occasionally track the distribution and severity of SNC in the Washington Coast Range and Oregon & Washington Cascade Range.
  • Methods:
    • The Coast Range survey is flown late-April to early- June and covers ~ 4 million acres of forest.
    • The observation plane flies 1,500 to 2,000 ft above the terrain, following north-south lines separated by 2 miles.
    • Observers look for areas of Douglas-fir forest with obvious yellow to yellow-brown foliage, a symptom of SNC. Patches (“polygons”) of forest with these symptoms are sketched onto computer touch screens displaying topographic maps or ortho-photos and the position of the aircraft.
    • Each polygon is classified for degree of discoloration as either “S” (severe) or “M” (moderate).
    • The Oregon Coast Range survey area generally extends from the Columbia River south to Brookings near the California border, and from the coastline eastward until obvious symptoms were no longer visible (historically, ~30 miles).
  • Products:  The results of the annual aerial survey are presented in the form of an aerial survey map (available in GIS format) and as a measure of the total acreage of stands with visible SNC symptoms (estimated as moderate or severe).  Maps are available on Oregon Department of Forestry and SNCC websites.

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