Phytophthora quercina infections in elevated CO2 concentrations

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In the last decades, a new wave of oak decline has been observed in Poland. The most important pathogenic organisms involved in this phenomenon are probably soil-borne pathogens Phytophthoragenus, especially P. quercina. In this work, we sought to test the influence of elevated CO2 concentration on the susceptibility of oaks (Quercus robur L.) to infection by P. quercina. In order to test the susceptibility of oak fine roots to infection, we applied phosphite-based fertiliser Actifos in 0.6% concentration. One-year-old oak seedlings were grown for one year in greenhouse with either an ambient atmosphere (400 ppm CO2) or an elevated (800 ppm) concentration of CO2. Oaks grown at the elevated CO2 concentration developed longer shoots as proved by statistically significant differences. However, there was no difference in the development of root systems. The application of Actifos had a positive significant effect on the development of shoots and the surface area of fine roots under the elevated CO2 concentration.

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