The suitability of Finnish climate for fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) epidemics on apple
Keywords:invasive alien, pathogen, epidemiology, models
AbstractFire blight, which is an important disease of apples and pears, has never been detected in continental Finland. In this study the suitability of the Finnish climate for apple blossom blight infections by Erwinia amylovora was evaluated with the epidemiological model MaryblytTM. This was done in fourteen locations, and for two apple cultivars differing in flowering times. Climatic conditions were predicted to be suitable for blossom infections in 18 - 51% of the years, and the annual period of suitable conditions was predicted to last up to two to five days, depending on the location and apple cultivar. The suitable period was predicted to be longer in some locations in central Finland than in those in the southernmost parts of the country. Based on these results the official surveys that are carried out to confirm the absence of fire blight in Finland cannot be targeted only to some parts of the country.
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