SLU news

New research on the biology and ecology of Ash Dieback

Published: 10 April 2017

An emerging disease has resulted in massive ash mortality all over Europe. This year in February, a book was published with guidelines on how to manage dieback of European ash. Now, a special issue of the scientific journal Baltic Forestry is out with advances in Ash Dieback research.

The issue is titled “Advances in Ash Dieback Research– and Some Other Invasive Diseases of Trees” and is a special issue in the journal Baltic Forestry. The book is edited by Rimvys Vasaitis from the Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, SLU, Rasmus Enderle from FVA, Forest Research Institute Baden-Wuerttemberg, Department Forest Protection in Germany and Alfas Pliūra from the Institute of Forestry, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Lithuania.

– This special issue focuses mainly on the biology and ecology of the Ash Dieback, says Rimvys Vasaitis.

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 previous book and the special issue of Baltic Forestry is part of the outcome of the FRAXBACK project.


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.

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