Change in Snow Mold Flora in Eastern Hokkaido and its Impact on Agriculture

Conference paper


Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, may roughly be divided into the Sclerotinia area in eastern part and the Typhula area in western part based on the occurrence of snow molds. The Sclerotinia area is characterized by deep soil frost and thin snow cover and the Typhula area by unfrozen soil and thick snow cover. The distinction is not absolute and changeable according to winter climate. Subsequent studies revealed that T. ishikariensis biotype A, attacking both di- and monocots was the main snow mold fungus in the Typhula area and that biotype B, pathogenic exclusively on monocots was prevalent in less snowy areas, including eastern Hokkaido. The winter of 1974–1975 favored Sclerotinia borealis in eastern Hokkaido by the late onset of snow cover and delayed thawing. Sclerotinia snow mold has seldom occurred since then in eastern Hokkaido, mainly due to mild winters, characterized by the early onset of persistent snow cover. The outbreak of T. ishikariensis biotype A in eastern Hokkaido in 1999 made us realize that T. ishikariensis biotype A was replacing biotype B and S. borealis. Examples are illustrated how change in snow mold flora affected agriculture in eastern Hokkaido and how local scientists coped with the problems.


Snow Cover Summer Climate Winter Climate Soil Frost Snow Mold 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of AgricultureHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)Higashi-HiroshimaJapan

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