New Forests

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 249–263 | Cite as

Long term losses caused by foliar diseases on growth and survival of Eucalyptus globulus in Uruguay

  • Gustavo Balmelli
  • Sofía Simeto
  • Nora Altier
  • Virginia Marroni
  • Julio J. Diez


Eucalyptus globulus is the most important forest species in Uruguay, with more than 250,000 ha of commercial plantations. Despite its high susceptibility to diseases, production losses caused by foliar diseases have not been properly quantified in this country. This study analyzes the effects of foliar damage on growth and survival using data from a progeny test of E. globulus naturally infected by Teratosphaeria leaf disease and eucalypt rust (Puccinia psidii). The severity of leaf spots and defoliation were quantified 8 months after planting and tree growth and mortality were evaluated 2, 4 and 6 years later. The trial had a high incidence of foliar damage, with a mean leaf spot severity of 28.7% and a mean defoliation of 37%. The greatest impact of foliar damage, both on growth rate and mortality, occurred in the first 2 years after damage was assessed. During this period, leaf spot severity less than 40% and defoliation below 50% did not affect growth, while survival was affected when leaf damage was 70% or greater. By the sixth year both stem growth and survival were affected by severe foliar damage (spotting or defoliation of 80% or more), with a loss of up to 25% in diameter and an accumulated mortality over 70%. It has been established for the first time that under the intensive Uruguayan productive conditions, E. globulus trees can tolerate a relatively high degree of leaf spotting or defoliation but severe foliar damage in the first months can cause considerable production losses, putting at risk the economical viability of this species.


Disease severity Foliar diseases Growth response Puccinia psidii Teratosphaeria spp. 



We would like to thank Redalco forestry enterprise, especially Marcelo Fredes, for providing the location and for performing the soil preparation and maintenance of the trial. Also to Valentin Pando for his support on statistical analyses. The study was partially funded by a grant (Programa de Formación del Sistema de los INIA de Iberoamérica) awarded to the first author for the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA) of Spain.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gustavo Balmelli
    • 1
  • Sofía Simeto
    • 1
  • Nora Altier
    • 1
  • Virginia Marroni
    • 2
  • Julio J. Diez
    • 3
  1. 1.Programa Nacional ForestalInstituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA)TacuarembóUruguay
  2. 2.Plant and Food ResearchChristchurchNew Zealand
  3. 3.Departamento de Producción Vegetal y Recursos Forestales, Instituto de Gestión Forestal SostenibleUniversidad de ValladolidPalenciaSpain

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