PhD student: Forest management, forest pathology // 25 August 2017Heterobasidion root infections on Scots pine – a cryptic threat to sustainable forest management in Sweden Growth loss due to aggressive attacks by Heterobasidion root rot on Scots pine, the second most important tree species in Sweden, are heavily underestimated and can severely affect the long term national goal of a sustainable bio-economy. Substantial research has been conducted on the overall impact of Heterobasidion root rot on other host species such as Norway spruce, however, due to the cryptic nature of this disease on pines the general impact of Heterobasidion remains unclear. In Sweden, there is an increasing demand for more information related to management of production forests for species other than Norway spruce also in consideration of other ecosystem services. The overall objective for the PhD student will be to quantify the impact of root rot on the growth of Scots pine to thereby provide a scientific basis for management in Sweden. The project is a collaboration between Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and several forest industry partners. The student will undertake several research studies to characterize host defense responses to fungal infection and determine the impact of non-lethal infections by Heterobasidion on fiber productivity expectations for production forests of Scots pine. One important part of the task is to design and establish field experiments, collect inventory data for the incidence of above and below ground disease incidence by analyzing presence of infections in roots and collection of infrared aerial photographs, and the use of molecular and dendrochronological techniques to quantify growth loss caused by non-lethal infections of Heterobasidion. The student will also investigate and develop management guidelines for managed Scots pine forests based on a cost-benefit analysis of available treatments.
Organization: Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
Duty station: Alnarp, Sweden
Submit application by: 25 August 2017