SLU news

New book on impacts and management of dieback of European ash

Published: 07 February 2017

An emerging disease has resulted in massive ash mortality all over Europe. But there is still hope! A new book with guidelines on how to manage dieback of European ash is out.

The book is titled “Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp.) – Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management" and has been edited by Rimvys Vasaitis from the Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, SLU and Rasmus Enderle from FVA, Forest Research Institute Baden-Wuerttemberg, Department Forest Protection in Germany.

– We hope that this book will help the European countries to limit the spread of Dieback of European Ash says, Rimvys Vasaitis.

Invasive fungus has caused massive tree death

Since mid-1990s, severe dieback of ash started to spread over most European countries. This emerging disease resulted in massive tree mortality and threatens the existence of ash trees over the continent. The causal agent of the disease is Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, an alien and invasive fungus that originates from Far East Asia, and most likely entered Europe with imported ash trees.

The FRAXBACK project

Already in the first decade of the 21st century, many European countries initiated national research programs on ash dieback, focusing on numerous aspects of the biology, ecology and management of the disease, but by 2010 the activities were scattered. The COST Action FP1103 FRAXBACK (funds provided by European Cooperation in Science & Technology) aimed to share and synthesize available knowledge, initiate collaborations on European scale, generate comprehensive understanding of the ash dieback phenomenon, and to elaborate state of the art practical guidelines for sustainable management of ash trees in Europe. The new book includes part of the outcomes of this collaborative project, mainly concerning impact and management of ash dieback. Yet another volume, focused mainly on biology and ecology of the disease, is on its way.

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