Forest pathology

Last changed: 23 November 2020
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In the Forest Pathology group we conduct basic and applied research related to the biology, ecology and epidemiology of pathogenic fungi causing diseases in trees in both urban and forested environments.

Our goal is to bring better awareness of the economic and ecological impacts caused by native and exotic tree diseases and provide solutions that will help reduce losses and promote forest sustainability through healthy forests.

Our team is comprised of national and international experts in root rot of conifers, ash decline, Dutch elm disease, Phytophthora diseases, canker diseases on broadleaves and pine needle diseases. In our research we use field-based studies and cutting-edge techniques in chemical analyses and next generation sequencing to answer questions that have applied value to conservation and to land and forest managers. 

Our research focus is quite wide due to the diverse expertise offered in the group, including:

  • Interactions of trees with fungi and fungal-like (oomycete) organisms
  • Biological and genetic control of diseases
  • Tree microbiome
  • Molecular diagnostics including services for stakeholders
  • Novel techniques for early detection of invasive species
  • Drone surveillance of forest health
Phytophthora, beech. Photo: Johanna Witzell
Phytophthora infected beech at Kullaberg in southern Sweden. Photo: Johanna Witzell
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Facts:

Research in forest pathology has been supporting the forest sector for more than 30 years since its inception at this Department. We maintain close contact and collaboration with a large number of stakeholder groups.

Collectively we are a rather multinational group of 10-15 persons including senior scientists, post doctoral fellows, PhD students, research visitors and support technicians. The group has a strong international focus, working with projects not only in Sweden, but in other parts of the world including, Europe and North America and East Asia.