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Urban salt contamination impact on tree health and the prevalence of fungi agent in cities of the central Lithuania

Snieškienė, Vilija, Baležentienė, Ligita, Stankevičienė, Antanina
Urban forestry & urban greening 2016 v.19 pp. 13-19
Aspergillus, Cladosporium herbarum, Tilia cordata, anamorphs, cities, defoliation, dieback, discoloration, fungi, leaves, pathogens, saprotrophs, spring, tree damage, trees, Lithuania
An analysis of tree health in urban greeneries exposed to winter road salt contamination was carried out in the cities of Alytus and Kaunas, Lithuania, during spring and summer 2009–2014. Trees were assessed for crown dieback, crown defoliation and foliage discolouration. In addition, the prevalence of saprotrophic pathogenic fungi that cause sooty mold disease was assessed in street and recreational plantings. Tilia cordata Mill. (small-leaved lime) was found to be the most common tree species among urban deciduous trees. Summarising the tree foliage results, saprotrophic fungi were detected on 16 species plants belonging to 13 genera. Three species of fungal pathogens belonging to two genera, two families, two classes, and two divisions, and 12 species of anamorphic fungi from nine genera were isolated and identified from Tilia cordata leaves. The most frequent sooty mold disease agents were Aspergillus brasiliensis and Cladosporium herbarum. Nonetheless, a weak correlation between salt contamination and lime tree damage by sooty mold was found.